MORE than three quarters of clubs across the country successfully secured Tier 3 criteria for the new season.

The Football Association of Wales confirmed that 77 of the 102 applicants were granted their licence following a meeting on June 25.

This represents a 75.49 per cent success rate following significant commitment from all clubs involved. This bears more significance in the current climate, which has prevented widescale work on grounds due to social distancing measures.

The FAW’s next job is to allocate teams to either Tier 3 or 4 in accordance with the new structure coming into place, which is set to be announced on July 10.

The lateness in the decision could mean that the upcoming campaign does not start on time as fears surrounding Covid-19 remain.

This process has been implementing by the governing body with a view to increasing the standards of facilities throughout the country, and it forms a “critical part of their review process.

Steven Jones, FAW club licensing manager, said: “Since the publication of the FAW Tier 3 Ground Criteria Regulations in 2017, the FAW has been working closely with clubs in order to provide them with the best opportunity to meet the Tier 3 criteria.

“In addition, since 2018, approximately £800,000 of Welsh Ground Improvements funding has been allocated to Tier 3 clubs – and to those clubs aspiring to be in Tier 3 – to assist them.

“It has been fantastic to witness first-hand the improvements to grounds across Wales and I cannot credit the clubs and their hard-working volunteers enough for the commitment they have shown to meet the Tier 3 standard.

“This is reflected in the positive number of clubs that have been successful with their applications.” Those that were unsuccessful in their pursuit of a Tier 3 licence have the right of appeal ahead of a meeting on July 8.

One such team is Gwynedd League champions Bangor 1876, who had their initial application knocked back over a “sanitary issue” and will be appealing the outcome.