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Airbus UK Broughton: ‘Super 12’ hopes not over for Wingmakers

WORRIES that Airbus UK Broughton and Gap Connah’s Quay will miss out on a place in the Welsh Premier League ‘Super 12’ over something that is beyond their control have been allayed.

The Flintshire neighbours failed on Friday to obtain the FAW Domestic Club Licence needed to compete in the new league after the council said it would not sign the safety certificate required by Welsh bosses.

The decision left Airbus and Nomads in limbo but both the FAW and Flintshire County Council have now confirmed they are working on a solution which will give the duo a shot at taking their place in next season’s 12-team competition.

FAW club licensing manager Andrew Howard told the Chronicle that an independent body, the Local Authority Building Control, will carry out safety inspections at the Airfield and the Deeside Stadium once the clubs confirm they will appeal.

Both Airbus and Nomads have done so this week and now both have thrown the ball back into the FAW’s court.

Jonathan Williams, Airbus’ general manager, said: “We’ve literally been piggy in the middle. The FAW has done a great job in trying to improve standards but unfortunately on this issue the law states one thing and the FAW are asking them to do something else.

“We’ve gone through every point in great detail to satisfy our ground is safe and sent those reports on to the FAW and the council. We get the impression they are happy with them so all we need now is for the independent body to come out and see us.”

Whereas Airbus failed only on the absence of a safety certificate, Nomads secretary Ally Bennett says his club have “one or two other small things” they have to get in place before appeals are heard on May 17.

“We’ve haven’t got loads of things to do and the main one is technically something the FAW have to deal with,” said Bennett.

“We are hoping to hear before May because we want to know what league we’re going into.”

Ian Vaughan-Evans, the council’s head of building control, said: “The FAW requires that all Welsh Premier League clubs must have safety certificates in place for the new season starting in August 2010 and their safety certificates must be signed by a public body.

“The Safety at Sports Grounds Act requires a safety certificate to be in place for grounds which have a capacity of more than 10,000 or a stand capable of holding more than 500 people. The football grounds in Flintshire do not exceed these capacities.

“There are no legal or statutory requirements for clubs to have a safety certificate in place, or for the local authority to certify and sign this safety certificate. This issue therefore is an FAW requirement.

“We have suggested a way in which the matter can be resolved by developing specific FAW guidance for the safety certificate, using consultants to verify the various grounds satisfy these requirements and sign the certificate as required by the FAW.”

Airbus will host an Under 19s international between Wales and Northern Ireland on May 6.