The State of Welsh Club Football

May 27, 2019

Written by:

Welsh Premier League

Founded: 1992

Most Championships: The New Saints, 13

Last 5 Winners: The New Saints (18/19, 17/18, 16/17, 15/16, 14/15)

UEFA Ranking: 48th

Highest Ranked Club: The New Saints, 179th


Interview with freelance Welsh football journalist, Matthew Burgess 

As a minnow of European Football, what do Welsh fans and teams expect from their European campaigns and what would qualify as a success?

The standard of the Welsh domestic league is improving every year and people would like to see that replicated in Europe.

It is important that we try to avoid poor results because the risk of a lower coefficient, plus the UEFA prize money is a huge windfall for our clubs at this level who, with the exception of The New Saints, are semi-professional.

Welsh football fans are realistic about the challenges that face them in Europe particularly with games taking place before our season has even begun, so the new players are competing in the most important game of the year, but struggling for match fitness.

The dream scenario would be to see TNS, our strongest team, reach the Europa League group stage by advancing through the Champions League qualifying rounds.

How much do the fans and teams look forward to European competition?

As I mentioned, it is a yearly battle for most Welsh teams to be financially sustainable so the prize money from qualifying for European football is vital.

The clubs and players also find travelling and playing in Europe an enriching experience too. We have historically struggled to perform in Europe at club level and the clubs and fans just want to see some progress.

Is funding ever a problem for Welsh sides in European competition in regards getting to and from away games?

The prize money from UEFA helps cover the costs so this doesn’t really prevent itself as a major issue, although it is obviously costly to the clubs.

Is a Champions League / Europa League game involving Welsh side watched by most of the nation?

No, they are usually very low-profile games. They are played in the middle of summer and out of the football season, and many of the teams they face are unknown.

The Welsh Premier League is not well supported and struggles to attract media attention. When most people think of Welsh football, they think of the likes of Swansea, Cardiff, Wrexham, and Newport, who all play in the English football system.

Do you think UEFA are doing enough to help the minnows of European football and what can they do to further help them?

Well I know the prize money is a huge incentive to the Welsh clubs who qualify and with any developing league, money is always the issue.

Increasing prize money given via European competitions and other funding streams would help ensure our clubs remain stable and sustainable.

Interview with freelance Welsh football journalist, Matthew Burgess 

Find all your Champions League betting odds here

A Europa League infographic


Author: Tom Mortimer

Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.

Twitter @TMortimerFtbl


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