Barry Town Supporters Committee lodges bid to buy troubled club
Barry Town Supporters Committee has lodged a bid to buy the football club after the club's chairman said he would withdraw the club from the Welsh League.
Fans have rallied to save the club that has just begun to celebrate 100 years since its formation.
After a meeting of the Barry Town Supporters Committee (BTSC) on Monday (October 29) it was agreed that the fan-led committee would attempt to buy the club from chairman Stuart Lovering.
He had set an asking price of £100,000 for Barry Town FC and £150,000 for the social club.
Last week Mr Lovering told the BTSC, which has been running the club's first team since the summer of 2011, that unless someone bought the club by December 1 then he would withdraw it from the Welsh League.
Mr Lovering had earlier appointed himself as secretary of the club, displacing the long-serving David Cole, so that he would have the power to remove the club from the Welsh League.
Gavin Chesterfield, manager of Barry Town FC, said: "I hope this can be resolved as I have got a great group of lads who I believe can achieve things.
"I think that long term its important that Barry Town is part of the community and in the hands of the community, and being supporter owned can only be good for the club moving forward."
He added: "If we don't come to a solution then after 100 years Barry Town FC will be no more."
David Cole, who is now assisting the BTSC in their bid to buy the club, hoped that a resolution could be met with the chairman.
"We have made an offer to him and we are hoping for a positive reaction so we can carry on and take the club forward," he said.
A Twitter campaign from the BTSC's two accounts, "Stand Up For Barry" and "BarryTownSC", has highlighted the plight of the club and generated support from a wide range of quarters.
During last weekends Welsh League fixtures Port Talbot Town also showed their support for Barry Town by unfurling banners saying "Support Local Football" and "Stand Up For Barry".
In a statement BTSC said they had made a bid for the club and hoped that the future of Barry Town FC could be secured: "Following the news that the current owner of Barry Town AFC plans to withdraw the club's first team and the Under 19s from the Welsh League by December 1, the Barry Town Supporters' Committee continue to take positive steps in attempting to secure the future of Barry Town Football Club," a spokesman said.
"Since May 2011 the Supporters' Committee have run first team football at Barry Town.
"We are keen to come to a settlement with the current owner to ensure Barry Town football is placed back into the hands of the community.
"To ensure the club is guaranteed a bright future, the Supporters' Committee have today (October 31) made a bid to the current owner for the football side of the business, this does not include the social club."
BTSC added: "The Supporters' Committee would like to thank the community, press, the Vale Council, Alun Cairns MP and our Welsh football family who have all shown their support in the current situation we find ourselves in once again.
"November is an important time for the club as we begin to celebrate 100 years since the club's formation, and we plan to continue with these plans and celebrate our past, present and hopefully our future.
"Barry Town currently lie 4th in the Welsh League, and can go back to the top of the league on Friday night with a victory over Taffs Well."
Vale MP Alun Cairns has also offered his support to the Barry Town Supporters Committee:
"This is the club's centenary year and we owe it to the supporters, players and town to secure its long term future," he said.