In 2008, Wrexham were relegated from the Football League and more than 13 years later have still yet to return. Conversely, in 1996 now-defunct English team Oswestry Town were accepted by the League of Wales and currently The New Saints are based in Oswestry (having moved from Llansantffraid, Powys in 2007). Another English club, Chester City, whose stadium sits on the England–Wales border, applied to join the Welsh Premier League after being expelled from the Football Conference in 2010 but were wound up almost immediately afterwards (their successor team, Chester F. C., opted to reapply within the English system).
It has both professional and semi-professional status clubs and is at the top of the Welsh football league system. Prior to 2002, the league was known as the League of Wales (LoW), but changed its name as part of a sponsorship deal to the Welsh Premier League. The league was rebranded as the Cymru Premier for the 2019–20 season.  Locations of teams in the 2022–23 Cymru Premier season Formation Original League The league was formed in October 1991 by Alun Evans, Secretary General of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), as he believed that the Welsh international football team was under threat from FIFA. The FAW, along with the other three home nations' associations (The Football Association, Irish Football Association and Scottish Football Association), had a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and it was thought that many FIFA members were resentful of this and pressing for the four unions to unite into one combined side for the whole of the United Kingdom.
No teams were promoted to the Welsh Premier League following the 2005–06 season. However, Cardiff Grange Quins, who finished bottom of the Welsh Premier League resigned leaving the league to operate with an odd number of clubs for 2006–07. Eighteen clubs competed in the Welsh Premier League for the 2007–08 season as both Neath Athletic (Welsh Football League Division One) and Llangefni Town (Cymru Alliance) were promoted whilst Cwmbran Town were relegated to Welsh Football League Division One. For 2008–09, Prestatyn Town played in the Welsh Premier League for the first time after promotion from the Cymru Alliance, whilst Llangefni Town were relegated to the Cymru Alliance after only one season.
Because of historically poor north–south transport links within Wales (although these have improved in the post World War II years), it was often easier for Welsh clubs to travel east–west, so Welsh clubs tended to look east to England for competitors and many of the top semi-professional sides in Wales played in the English football league system; Bangor City were founder members of the Alliance Premier League (now the National League) in 1979 and reached the FA Trophy final in 1984, before transferring to the new League of Wales in 1992. Further recruitment The formation of the League of Wales saw the start of a bitter dispute between the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and those non-League clubs who wanted to remain part of the English football pyramid.
However, as Rhyl's application to join the league was late, they were placed in the second level of the pyramid system. Because of FAW sanctions, the remaining five clubs were forced to play their home matches in England. Following a season in exile at Worcester City, five became four, as Barry Town joined the Welsh pyramid in time for the 1993–94 season. A court ruling in 1995 allowed the remaining four clubs to return to Wales to play their home matches while still remaining within the English system; despite this victory, Caernarfon Town decided to join the League of Wales for the 1995–96 season. Colwyn Bay continued in the English pyramid for a further 24 years before transferring to the Welsh pyramid in 2019, leaving only two of the Irate Eight remaining - Newport County, who won promotion to the Football League in 2013, and Merthyr Town, the successor club to Merthyr Tydfil following its liquidation in 2010.
The 'Irate Eight', as they were dubbed, consisted of Bangor City, Barry Town, Caernarfon Town, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Newtown and Rhyl. At the time, Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham were playing in The Football League, and the FAW decided to allow those teams to continue to play in the English system, although they continued to compete in the Welsh Cup for a few more seasons.
The side finishing top of the Championship Conference after thirty-two games is the League Champion, and will qualify for the UEFA Champions League. To date six teams have won the title in twenty-six seasons. The Runners-Up in the Championship Conference qualify automatically for the UEFA Europa League, whilst the remaining teams qualify for the end of season European Playoffs. The bottom two sides in the Playoff Conference are relegated. Meanwhile, the side finishing top of the Playoff Conference (seventh place in the league table) advances to the European Playoffs. Note that sides in the Playoff Conference can finish no higher in the table than seventh. European Playoffs The five teams finishing in 3rd–7th contest the end of season European Playoffs.
These proposals were forwarded to the Football Association of Wales for their consideration.  In June 2009 the clubs voted to accept an alternative proposal to reduce the premier League from 18 clubs to 12 for the 2010–11 season onwards.  Current structure The season is split into two phases, and concludes with an end of season Playoff to determine Wales' fourth European side for the following year. Phase 1 Phase 1 runs from MD1 in August through to MD22 in mid-January. Each team plays the other sides in the league twice, once at home and once away, making a total of twenty-two games.
European competition The champions of the Welsh Premier League qualify, along with the champions of every European domestic league, for the UEFA Champions League. The second placed team qualifies for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. The teams in places 3 to 7 then play-off for the second Europa spot.
As of June 2019 the Cymru Premier is ranked 46th out of 55 members by the UEFA coefficient. Media coverage For the first four seasons of the league's existence, its results were not featured on the Press Association's vidiprinter service and consequently had not appeared on the BBC's Final Score or Sky's Soccer Saturday. The PA added the league's results at the start of the 1996–97 season, which was also when the PA began providing the results for the Northern Irish league. The advent of the League has brought increased media coverage for its member clubs, notably from the Western Mail and Daily Post, as well as local press.
and Wrexham A. as they are both in the English non-league setup.  An online poll by "Y Clwb Peldroed' on Twitter found 56. 7% in favour of Merthyr Town F. joining the Welsh football system.  Structure Promotion and relegation Clubs are promoted to the Cymru Premier from the Cymru North in the north/ central Wales and the Cymru South in the south/ central Wales. Clubs who finish as champions of the feeder leagues, or as runners-up if the champions decide not to seek promotion, are promoted subject to an application for membership being received and accepted and the stadium and infrastructure safety criteria of the Cymru Premier being met.
After the conclusion of Phase 1, the league splits in two, with the top six teams forming the Championship Conference, and the bottom six teams forming the Playoff Conference. All points accumulated by teams in Phase 1 are brought forward into Phase 2 Phase 2 Phase 2 then runs from MD23 at the start of February through to MD32 at the end of April. Each side plays the other five in their conference twice more, home and away, to bring up a total of thirty-two games played.
A place in the second round of the Europa League is also awarded to the winners of the Welsh Cup. If the winners of the Welsh Cup have already qualified for Europe via their league placing (i. e., finishing in the top two and winning the Cup), or if the Welsh Cup winners have finished in a playoff position, then the remaining four sides contest the playoff. Results in Europe have been mixed – some notable successes, such as Barry Town's run to the first round proper of the UEFA Cup, drawing 3–3 with Aberdeen at Jenner Park, Bangor City's win over FC Sartid of Yugoslavia and Barry's 3–1 victory over FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League (albeit losing 3–9 on aggregate), stand alongside some heavy defeats, such as The New Saints' 12–1 aggregate defeat to Amica Wronki of Poland.
The new league was formed for the 1992–93 season, and officially launched on 15 August 1992.  At the time, despite the FAW being a FIFA and UEFA member it had not previously organised a national league, only the Welsh Cup. Traditionally, the strongest teams in Wales had always played in the English leagues. Aberdare Athletic, Cardiff City, Merthyr Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham have all been members of the Football League, while many other Welsh based clubs have competed in the Northern Premier League and Southern Football League.
Renewed calls to recruit Welsh teams Welsh football Teams that currently play in the English football system include: Cardiff City F. C. and Swansea City A. F. C (both in the EFL Championship), Newport County A. C (EFL League Two), Wrexham A. (National League) and Merthyr Town F. (Southern League Premier Division South).  Some have called for all Welsh teams to be recruited into Cymru Premier, but in particular the lower ranked teams Merthyr Town F.
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Cymru Premier - WikipediaCymru PremierFounded1992Country WalesOther club(s) from England (1 team)ConfederationUEFANumber of teams12Level on pyramid1Relegation toCymru NorthCymru SouthDomestic cup(s)Welsh CupLeague cup(s)Welsh League CupInternational cup(s) UEFA Champions League UEFA Europa Conference League Current championsThe New Saints (14th title) (2021–22)Most championshipsThe New Saints (14 titles)Most appearancesColin Reynolds (516)Top goalscorerMarc Lloyd Williams (319)Websitecymrufootball. walesCurrent: 2022–23 The Cymru Premier, known as the JD Cymru Premier for sponsorship reasons, is the national football league of Wales.
6th host 7th in a Quarter-Final, with the winner travelling to the 3rd placed side for the first Semi-Final, whilst 4th host 5th in the other. The winners then meet at the ground of the highest ranked side in the Final, with the winner qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. If one of the five teams has already qualified for Europe by winning the JD Welsh Cup, then the remaining four sides will contest the Playoffs directly from the Semi-Final stage. If one of the top two sides wins the JD Welsh Cup, then the third placed side will automatically take up a UEFA Europa League spot. The remaining four sides will then contest the Playoffs directly from the Semi-Final stage.
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League restructure for 2010–11 season The 18 Welsh Premier League clubs met on 13 April 2008 and voted to support a restructuring proposal put forward by Welsh Premier League secretary John Deakin which would replace the single Welsh Premier League with a First and Second Division with 10 teams in each Division for the 2010–11 season. A further proposal was accepted that the Football Association of Wales should take full control of the Welsh Premier League and the existing Company, 'Football League of Wales Limited' should be dissolved.
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