Club Statement: Cefn Albion
Over the past few months, statements have been made by Cefn Albion FC that casts a shadow over the conduct of our club. We would like to take this opportunity to clear a number of points made and set a record of the events.
A series of meetings and conversations were held between both clubs during the 2020 COVID lockdown and limited return to play. Each meeting was constructive and positive steps forward were made, with the clear understanding that the Druids would do all we could to support Cefn Albion and their push for promotion.
This support included not charging for the pitch for games and training, the loan of our players if needed, our loaning Cefn Albion players and coaches to play under our Tier 1 licence and then releasing them back as soon as their league resumed. We provided a Ground Safety Officer, stadium support and moved the academy training sessions to accommodate Cefn Albion training sessions. We offered to sign all their players and coaches and have them train and play as our reserves, under our Tier 1 Elite licence, until their season started and then transfer them all back.
During the 2020 lockdown, we stated that we were sympathetic to their loss of income and would not charge Cefn Albion for training sessions and game days. This was on the understanding that they provided stewards, marshals etc at their cost.
During a preseason meeting in July 2021, an official made a series of comments towards the Druids Chairman that was uncalled for. When challenged, the former Cefn Albion Chairman stepped in and made further demands that brought an abrupt end to the meeting. Soon after this meeting, Cefn Albion changed Chairman and we sent an email of congratulations and stated that we were looking forward to working together.
In August 2021, Cefn Albion asked for a meeting to cool the situation down and resolve the issues brought about by the previous meeting. We met and agreed on several simple items and Cefn Albion failed to honour the agreement, but we honoured our side by not charging for the use of the pitch.
In November 2021, Cefn Albion emailed Druids requesting a meeting to discuss a ground share arrangement, we declined the meeting on the basis that the promises Cefn Albion had made regarding working together hadn’t been met. In his email response, Cefn Albion Chairman Stewart Roberts made it very clear that he was aware that the cheques had yet to be cashed and that the promises made had not been met and he was seeking further clarification from those that made the promises.
On December 2nd 2021, Mr Roberts wrote asking when the cheques would be cashed and we responded the following day “So, regarding the cheques, I’ve asked for them not to be cashed at the present time. If you wish to cancel them and we can sort payment out later in the season that’s fine. I’ll raise an invoice in due course.”
In December 2021, Mr Roberts issued an ultimatum and we refused to comply. We stated in an email to Mr Roberts that he should notify the FAW that we were ground sharing and we would sort the details by the deadline date. Mr Roberts then withdrew Cefn Albion from The Rock without further discussion and has made a statement that we kicked them out, and this is simply not true.
The statement made on their website is grossly offensive, incorrect and has had a detrimental effect on our local community relations. We have never told them that they aren’t welcome nor have we ever intimated such language. On the contrary, we have done all we can to foster good working relationships and gone over and above anything any club would have done for them and or has ever done to help them.
As of today’s date, we have never cashed any cheques from Cefn Albion, nor have we ever charged them for the use of pitch for training sessions or games. We have asked for an apology and it’s been ignored, we asked again in January 2023 and it was again refused. So we have decided to seek legal redress against each of the clubs officers, personally, for defamation.
We find it incredible that a local club have sought to denigrate our name and reputation despite all the efforts we’ve made over the past three years to reach out and work with them. We are further saddened that the Cefn Albion players and coaches have been denied the opportunity to play and train at The Rock and push for promotion this season.
Despite the comments of the ill informed, we remain steadfastly resolute in our desire to maintain and foster good relations with all the local clubs and welcome any constructive dialogue regarding the development of players, the facility and the game at large.