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Help first - Ask questions later

Events at Merthyr Town FC in the past ten days have sent shockwaves through the worlds of Welsh football and English non-league. Somehow the crisis is all the more shocking because Merthyr is a fan-owned club, so recently re-formed after the demise of Merthyr Tydfil FC, and having benefitted from such massive investment to benefit the community.

Much of the reaction has been helpful as the fans and interim officers at the club battle to raise funds to stave off even worse times. And, indeed, 100 percent of the focus initially should be on stabilisation. On the field the club at least managed to fulfil its fixture at Chesham and will continue to do so, whatever the results.

Off the field fund-raising efforts should soon see enough raised to meet the highest priority debt, that to HMRC.

Sadly, though, some outside the club have seized on their misfortune to raise the question of their continued presence in the English non-league pyramid. With unseemly haste, less than a week after the crisis broke, an online poll was asking whether the Martyrs should quit the English system. Controversy like this may generate hits for journalists but it's unhelpful and divisive when everyone should be pulling together.

We take the view that such questions are for later - along with many others. For the next week or two, all focus must be on ensuring that the football town of Merthyr Tydfil does not lose its football club again.

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