Barry Town leaves English football… for a while.

Barry & District News

Thursday 25 March, 1982


The worst fears of supporters and other people closely connected with Barry Town Football Club were confirmed this week when the vice-chairman, Mr. Neil O’Halloran, announced the club’s resignation from the Southern League as from the end of the season.

What Mr. O’Halloran described as a ‘sad decision’ had, he explained, been taken purely for financial reasons.

The statement said “We have reluctantly had to resign from the Southern League to ensure a solid future for Barry Town.

“As from August 1982, we shall be playing our strongest side in the Welsh League.

“This decision results from the Southern League management committee issuing the club with an ultimatum that, unless floodlights are installed by the start of the 1983-84 season, we would not be considered for the Southern League.

“At a board meeting it was decided that, in order to consolidate our financial position, we would have to resign from the Southern League and play in the Welsh League, where travelling costs and general expenses would be nominal compared with the Southern League.

“It is believed that taking this action will enable the club, with careful and sensible planning, to install lights, erect new dressing rooms and improve the social facilities and generally improve the club’s status.

“This action has been taken purely for financial reasons, but, having regard to the financial state of a lot of football clubs, we must look at the warning signals and take the necessary steps to consolidate.”

Mr. O’Halloran hoped that the proposed Welsh National League would begin in the 1983-84 season, with Barry among the founder members.

It was somewhat ironic that the decision followed just two days after around 50 regular supporters of the club got together to reform the Supporters’ Club in an effort to keep the club in the Southern League.

At their meeting on Sunday, the club, under a new chairman, Mr. Bill Lewis, decided to send a letter to Mr O’Halloran seeking assurances about the club’s Southern League future and calling for a meeting with the Board of Directors.

But, it seems, the decision had already been made, especially as Southern League officials were due at Jenner Park yesterday to grade the ground. At Sunday’s meeting it was agreed that it was highly unlikely that, once they quit, Barry would be readmitted to the league.

Although appreciating Mr O’Halloran’s support for the club in recent years – and realising that without his injection of cash this week’s decision might have come before – supporters rang the ‘News’ yesterday to express their amazement at the finality of the decision.

A number felt that no opportunity had been taken to find out whether other individuals or businessmen in the town could come to the aid of the club. “No avenues have been explored whatsoever,” explained a ‘very dispirited’ Bill Lewis.

“We are not doubting that Mr. O’Halloran has every right to do what he has done, but it seems a very unsatisfactory situation that a decision of this nature should be taken without looking at other ways of helping the club.”


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