25 April 2012
Last updated at 06:34 GMT
The Welsh Premier League has improved since it started in 1992, AMs will be told
The future of the Welsh Premier Football League is to come under close scrutiny from Assembly Members.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) is expected to tell AMs that playing standards and coaching have improved since its inception in 1992.
But it is expected to say more work is needed, particularly with some clubs and grounds, and it needs more money to move closer to other parts of the UK.
The assembly’s communities committee starts its inquiry later on Wednesday.
Committee chair Ann Jones said: “Wales has produced some of the finest footballers in the world and the passion shown by Welsh football supporters is second to none.
“While the domestic Welsh Premier League (WPL) has a loyal following across the country this committee is keen to establish its contribution to Welsh football and its prospects for the future.”
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While the domestic Welsh Premier League has a loyal following across the country this committee is keen to establish its contribution to Welsh football and its prospects for the future”
Ann Jones AM
Chair, communities committee
Below standard grounds
In its evidence, the FAW will point to work done in raising coaching standards to internationally recognised levels and the establishment of youth academies.
But there will also be an admission that the club and ground infrastructure is below standard.
Its says the WPL needs greater income in order to move it closer to the level of leagues in other parts of the UK.
The FAW has recently launched a new joint partnership programme with an organisation called Shared Access, where floodlights can be erected free of charge in return for hosting mobile telecoms equipment.
In its evidence to the committee, the Welsh Football Trust, charged with promoting grassroots involvement with the game, says playing standards are improving, but the league deserves better recognition from the media and Welsh public.
It says among the main challenges are maintenance and development of club infrastructure and player wage inflation.
The trust also says that WPL clubs would benefit from professional marketing and business development expertise, and raising the profile and standard of the league is an integral and important dimension to the FAW’s strategic plan.R Soft Web Hosting