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൹ 19 Aug 16:30, GMT +3
≛ Pontypridd vs TNS
🄣 Pontypridd (1x2)
The new league was formed for the 1992-93 season and officially launched on August 15, 1992. Although a member of FIFA and UEFA, the FAW had not organised a national league at that time, only the Welsh Cup. Traditionally, Wales' strongest teams had always played in the English leagues.
Aberdare Athletic, Cardiff City, Merthyr Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham were all members of the Football League, while many other Welsh clubs played in the Northern Premier League and Southern Football League.
Due to historically poor north-south transport links within Wales, it was often easier for Welsh clubs to travel eastto west, so Welsh clubs tended to look to the east of England for competition. Many of the best semi-professional teams in Wales played in the English league system. Bangor City was a founder member of the Alliance Premier League (now the National League) in 1979 and reached the final of the FA Trophy in 1984 before joining the League of Wales in 1992.
The success of these clubs in the Welsh Cup competitions led to their frequent participation in the European Cup Winners' Cup, although Wrexham had never played higher than the Second Division and Swansea had spent only two seasons in the First Division in the early 1980s, while Cardiff had played semi-regularly in the First Division from the 1920s until 1962. Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl reluctantly agreed to join the League of Wales before its inaugural season.
However, because Rhyl had belatedly applied to join the league, they were placed in the second tier of the pyramid system. Due to FAW sanctions, the remaining five clubs were forced to play their home games in England. Barry Town joined the Welsh pyramid in time for the 1993-94 season after a season in exile at Worcester City. A court ruling in 1995 allowed the remaining four clubs to return to Wales for their home games while remaining in the English system.
Caernarfon Town joined the League of Wales for the 1995-96 season despite this victory. Colwyn Bay remained in the English pyramid for another 24 years before moving to the Welsh pyramid in 2019. That left just two of the Irate Eight - Newport County, which won promotion to the Football League in 2013, and Merthyr Town, the successor club to Merthyr Tydfil after its dissolution in 2010. Wrexham was relegated from the Football League in 2008 and has yet to be promoted again 13 years later.
Conversely, the now-defunct English team Oswestry Town was admitted to the League of Wales in 1996 and currently The New Saints are based in Oswestr. Another English club, Chester City, whose stadium sits on the border between Englandand Wales, applied to join the Welsh Premier League after being expelled from the Football Conference in 2010, but was disbanded almost immediately afterwards (its successor team, Chester F.C., decided to reapply within the English system).
Phase 1 runs from MD1 in August to MD22 in mid-January. Each team plays the other teams in the league twice, once at home and once away, for a total of twenty-two matches. At the conclusion of Phase 1, the league is split in two, with the top six teams forming the Championship Conference and the bottom six teams forming the Playoff Conference. All points accumulated by the teams in Phase 1 will be brought forward to Phase 2
Phase 2 then runs from MD23 in early February through MD32 in late April. Each team plays the other five teams in their conference twice more, home and away, for a total of thirty-two games. The team at the top of the Championship Conference after thirty-two games is the league champion and qualifies for the UEFA Champions League. The Championship Conference runners-up automatically qualify for the UEFA Europa League, while the remaining teams qualify for the European playoffs at the end of the season.
The two worst teams in the Playoff Conference are relegated. The team that tops the Playoff Conference (seventh place in the league table) takes part in the European playoffs. Note that teams in the Playoff Conference cannot finish higher than seventh in the standings.
The five teams ranked 3-7 compete in the European playoffs at the end of the season. the 6th receives the 7th in a quarterfinal. The winner travels to the 3rd placed team for the first semi-final, while the 4th receives the 5th. The winners will then meet the highest ranked team in the final.
The winner qualifies for the UEFA Europa League. If one of the five teams has already qualified for Europe by winning the JD Welsh Cup, the remaining four teams will contest the playoffs directly from the semifinals.
If one of the top two teams wins the JD Welsh Cup, the third-placed team automatically takes a place in the UEFA Europa League. The remaining four teams then contest the playoffs directly from the semifinals.
If the Welsh Cup winners have already qualified for Europe via their league placing (i.e., by finishing in the top two and winning the cup) or if the Welsh Cup winners have achieved a playoff place, then the remaining four teams contest the playoff.
Results in Europe have been mixed - some notable successes such as Barry Town's passage into the first round of the UEFA Cup (a 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Jenner Park), Bangor City's win over FC Sartid of Yugoslavia and Barry's 3-1 win over FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League (although they lost 9-3 on aggregate) are offset by some heavy defeats, such as The New Saints' 12-1 loss to Amica Wronki of Poland. As of June 2019, the Cymru Premier is ranked 46th out of 55 members in the UEFA coefficient.