Five clubs from Anglesey and Gwynedd have been granted new Tier 2 certificates for next season from the FAW.
Bangor City, who were relegated from the Welsh Premier last week, was automatically granted a certificate because its Nantporth ground had passed stringent criteria for a domestic Tier 1 licence.
But the club is planning to take legal action against the FAW’s decision not to award the Tier 1 licence, which would keep them in the top flight. At a fans’ meeting on Monday night, club directors said they expected their appeal to cost around £30,000 but insisted they remained confident it would succeed.
Both Holyhead Hotspur and Porthmadog were also granted second tier certificates – a new mandatory requirement for playing in the Huws Gray Alliance as of next season. This season’s champions, Caernarfon Town, also passed the criteria, but have been promoted to the Welsh Premier.
In the Welsh Alliance, Llangefni Town also succeeded in gaining a Tier 2 licence. But the Lon Talwrn club have narrowly missed on promotion this season – finishing runners-up as Conwy Borough clinched the Division One title with a 5-1 win over Llanberis on Wednesday night.
Of six clubs from the region who applied for a certificate – based on criteria such as safety, covered seating and dressing rooms – only Llanrug United were denied.
The new licencing process comes ahead of more sweeping changes in the Welsh football league pyramid – with a restructuring of the leagues starting in the 2019-20 season. That will see the separate Cymru Alliance and Welsh League setups replaced by two 16-team FAW Championship leagues – one in the North and one in the South.
Beyond that, the third tier in the North – currently consisting of the Welsh National, Welsh Alliance and Mid Wales Leagues – will be replaced by two 16-team leagues, starting in the 2020-21 season.