BARRY Town FC has a new billionaire owner who has some bizarre plans to transform the fortunes of the MacWhirter Welsh League Division One side.
Manchester City chief Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan completed a takeover of the Welsh League minnows last week, and intends to hire the cast of Barry-based tv series Gavin & Stacey to play for the team.
The all powerful Sheikh will pay astronomical sums to force the cast of the BBC sitcom to line-up at Jenner Park.
For while everyone else is sick of the show after seeing it 3,500 times on Dave, it appears the Sheikh remains a big fan.
Barry Town FC had been seeking a buyer for around eight years, and rival Dinas Powys fans believe the cash-rich Sheikh is the only man in the world not scoffing at the £125,000 price tag placed on the business by outgoing chairman Stuart Lovering.
Long-suffering Dragons fans say the buyout is another nail in the coffin for their once proud club. An angry supporters group, set up in the wake of news of the buyout, say their club is being made into a ‘soap opera.’
Chairman and spokesman at Man City (because someone as rich as the Sheikh simply doesn’t have to talk for himself) Khaldoon Al Mubarak, said: “When Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan heard Barry Town was up for sale he got straight on the phone with an offer, which was immediately accepted.
“He’s a huge fan of Gavin & Stacey. He’s got all three series and the Christmas specials on DVD, but he’ll still watch them on Dave, and even again on Dave Ja Vu an hour later if he can.
“He’s been to Barry many times, enjoying an ice cream on the beach and playing the 2p machines in the arcades, and sees the Gavin & Stacey cast as Barry’s best exports. He has already purchased their contracts from the BBC.”
WNN understands Steffan Rhodri (Dave Coaches) has been earmarked as goal keeper, with James Corden and co-writer Ruth Jones, who play Smithy and Nessa, forming an imposing central defensive partnership.
The Sheikh has chosen Rob Brydon to play a challenging centre midfield role after seeing his character Bryn create his own home gymnasium in the third series of the show.
Larry Lamb, Mathew Horne, Joanna Page and Alison Steadman will also be kitted up for Barry.
Melanie Walters, who plays Stacey’s mother Gwen, will not have a playing role and will instead be in charge of catering – specifically a wide variety of omelettes.
Reports suggest the cast are not happy with the decision, not least because it has delayed plans for recording a one-off episode of the popular show, but understand they are contractually obliged to ‘give their all’ for Barry.
Ruth Jones, who plays Nessa, said: “Don’t get me wrong, but to be honest, at the end of the day, when all’s said and done…d’you know what I mean?”
Because Barry play under the control of the Football Association of Wales, FA rules allow the Sheikh to legitimately operate two clubs.