As the men at the top of Welsh football decide whether Brian Flynn is the man to lead Wales to a brighter future on the pitch Luke James wants to find out whether the Football Association of Wales is fit for international duty off the pitch.
Read a series of blogs in the coming weeks as Six Balls Between Us takes a closer look at the Football Association of Wales.
Despite back-to-back defeats this week Brian Flynn is desperate to take permanent control of Wales’ national team. Flynn had hoped two good results during his ten day spell in charge would have sealed his chance to take the reigns full time, however Flynn’s side’s failure hasn’t dampened his desire for the job.
Many believe that if Flynn is given time with the team performances and results will improve. Players like Gareth Bale, Danny Collins and Ashley Williams have added their voice to the debate by publicly calling for Flynn to be installed as Wales boss. But it isn’t you, me or the players who will make the decision on the future of Wales and Flynn – it’s the FAW ‘power brokers’ who will make the final call on who will lead Wales into battle with England in March.
In usual circumstances, the powerful men at the top of Welsh football operate well away from the spotlight, but these are not usual circumstances. Wales are rock bottom of group G with no points and now they must decide a way forward. Paul Abbandonato explained in today’s Western Mail that a ‘six-man sub-committee headed up by FAW president Phil Pritchard, will lead the hunt for the new man’. But who are these men and what do they do for Welsh football?
Meet Vice-Preisdent Trefor Lloyd Hughes
One of the men on the six-man subcommittee who will decide on the future leadership of Welsh football is Trefor Lloyd-Hughes.
Lloyd-Hughes is Vice-President of the FA of Wales, he was made a Gorsedd of the Bards in 2007 after spending 30 years with the Welsh Ambulance Service and had given a long service to football in North Wales before being made treasurer of the FAW.
At the time he told the Daily Post: “I regularly speak to all the Welsh international players, Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy, Gareth Bale and Neville Southall is a good friend of mine. I hope to be able to promote the Welsh language more. We now have a bilingual policy and if anyone wants to use Welsh they can.”
He is also a Plaid Cymru councillor and his declarations of interest for the council state that he holds a position in the FAW, Football Association of North Wales, Anglesey Junior League, Anglesey Football Association and the Company for Improvement of Welsh Grounds.
This is is just one man amongst many at the top of the FA of Wales but it seems you couldn’t find anyone who had given more of their life to football in Wales.
The fans view
With people with a track record like Trefor Lloyd-Hughes in charge you could assume that football in Wales is in safe hands.
However fans are outspoken on FA of Wales bosses, a group they call the blazer brigade.
Open the pages of Welsh football fanzine ‘The Dragon Has Landed’ and the resentment against Football Association of Wales presidents and councillors is evident. In the magazines regular fan profile section Wales supporter Steve Comins, who has watched Wales 98 times at home and 67 times away, said the best way to improve Welsh football would be to “kick out the Blazer Gang and get some of the ex-pros to run the FAW.”
This opinion is not a new one, turn to the same page of the fanzine in May 2006 and Stuart Wynn Hughes wants to “get rid of the dribbling old codgers and run the FAW like a serious modern organisation.”
Meet Wales fans at home or away matches and you will find a queue of fans ready to say the same thing. Some supporters see these FA of Wales officials as an old boys club complete with matching blazers ready to keep Welsh football in the dark ages to keep their privileges intact.
Are the fans misinformed? Read more on Sunday.