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Plaid Cymru backs greater supporter involvement in football clubs

Plaid Cymru is backing demands by Supporters Direct for fans to have places on football club boards.

The Party of Wales was responding to a football manifesto produced by the organisation ahead of the forthcoming UK General Election.

Supporters Direct wants to see an effective licensing system for football clubs to be introduced enshrining the rights of supporters, fans on club boards, barriers removed to supporter ownership and fans given opportunities to take control of their club in the event of an ownership change.

Swansea City, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport County and Wrexham are either owned by supporters’ trusts or have strong fan involvement in the clubs.

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr and a Swansea City supporter, said: "Swansea City Supporters’ Trust has a representative on the board of the football club and their involvement ensures that the views of the fans are made known to the decision-makers.

"Supporters are an integral part of football and involving them leads to better decision making and avoids conflict building between fans and the owners of football clubs."

Ken Houston, a Cardiff City fan and a member of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, said: "If fan representatives are involved at a high level putting the views and interests of ordinary supporters forward, then we can avoid issues like the rebranding which brought so much discord to my football club.

"I would support the idea of all clubs having in place a formal structured process so there is meaningful engagement with supporter groups."