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Port v Rhuthun - 25/01/03

Warm welcome to Y Traeth for this afternoon's match between first and second in the Cymru Alliance League. It is sure to be an intriguing game with two good sides on show. The away game between the two sides was a thrilling encounter; let's hope for a similar game this afternoon.

There really is only one topic to discuss in today's column. The newspapers have been full of reports and speculation regarding the charge made against the club of playing Richard Harvey without the requisite international clearance, I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. To be fair, Richard gave the club good service during his time here but the circumstances need to be explained. When we signed him in August 2002 we believed we were signing him from another Welsh club, namely Cemaes Bay. Recent research has uncovered the sequence of events which preceded his signing for Porthmadog. During March and April 2001 Richard played two "trial games" for Macclesfield Town Reserves, he was registered on a non-contract registration form with the club. Towards the end of the 2000/2001 season he signed for Llanberis with whom he played a number of games. It seems that it was here that the mistake not to gain international clearance was made. As the first club he played for after being in England it was they who should have sought the necessary clearance. At the start of the 2001/2002 season he joined Cemaes for whom Richard was a virtual ever present throughout the season, ending the season winning the League Cup with Cemaes here at Y Traeth. It appears that he also played two games for Wrexham Reserves during the same season. His Cymru Alliance resignation lapsed at the end of that season and he signed for Porthmadog during the summer of 2002. He had been with another Cymru Alliance side previously so no consideration was even given to the possible need for international clearance. In late October Richard was transferred to Llangefni. This whole mess only came to light when Rhyl attempted to sign Richard. Welsh Premier registration papers go down to Cardiff and the matter was picked up there. We as a club are fully aware of the regulations and have obtained international clearance for numerous players in the past. However there is no national registration system for players currently in operation in Wales. It is shortcoming in the system of registering players which seems to be the main culprit in this case. The club as a whole has worked hard to get to where we are and it is our intention to fight the charge against us. To this end a lawyer has already been appointed to look into the matter and argue our case should this prove necessary. At the time of going to press the club have had no response to our letter and so it may be that the matter will be left there. That remains to be seen. Thanks for your support.
Porthmadog

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