Cardiff Met FC playing at their Cyncoed Campus. Credit: Cardiff Metropolitan University.

FAW’s £6m boost for Cymru Premier league ‘to boost crowds and help Welsh clubs in Europe’

The largest ever single investment into Wales’ top flight will help on and off the field, says Cardiff Met lynchpin

THE Football Association of Wales’ £6 million investment in the national league will help attract bigger crowds that match the quality on the pitch, says a leading club. 

The new investment has been described by Noel Mooney, CEO of the FAW, as “the biggest commitment to the JD Cymru Premier in its 32-year history”.

Over the years the league has seen little first team investment, with some money being generated from their deal with Sgorio on S4C, but most investment going into the academy systems.

Eliot Evans, player and assistant manager at Cardiff Metropolitan FC, has been involved in the league for nine years and said he has seen the quality of the league increase.

Will Evans’ goal for Newport against Manchester United in the FA Cup highlights the quality of players that the league can produce. He played for Cardiff Met and Bala Town before joining Newport County in 2022.

Mr Evans would like to see attendances growing to match the standard of football.

“The big thing the league’s lacking is the exposure in terms of bigger crowds,” said Mr Evans.

Most teams in the Cymru Premier average crowds of around 300, apart from Caernarfon Town and Colwyn Bay – with Colwyn averaging more than 700 this season.

Increased playing quality and strong links with the well-regarded FAW coaching courses means the standard of the league has improved on the pitch, but there is still work to be done off it.

Mr Evans believes the fresh investment will have several knock-on effects, including narrowing the gap on the league’s dominent force, The New Saints.

TNS have finished either first or second in all but one season since 2001-02, and have benefitted from wealthy owners and regular Europe competition.