SENIOR politicians from across Newport are encouraging Newport County AFC fans to support a crowdfunding campaign for the club – ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup third round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The fundraiser has been set up by County fan Jamie Roberts, with the money raised going straight to the club. Due to coronavirus restrictions, Sunday's match is being played without fans in the stadium - removing what would have been a big source of income for County.

The aim is to help to keep finances as strong as possible by recouping some of the takings from what would - in an ordinary season - be a lucrative fixture.

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Newport City Council leader Jane Mudd, John Griffiths MS, Jayne Bryant MS, Ruth Jones MP and Jessica Morden MP - all regulars at Rodney Parade - have been working with the club throughout the pandemic to campaign for more support from UK and Welsh Government and other organisations.

They have also been meeting with club officials, on a regular basis to discuss their ongoing work around playing a part in work to improve mental health support in the city.


Cllr Mudd said: “Newport County are at the heart of our community – and I know if these were more normal times, the fans, including myself, would be looking forward to another FA Cup tie against Premier League opponents.

"It’s a real shame we wont be able to cheer the side on from the terraces on Sunday – but I hope everyone can get behind this crowdfunding initiative.”

Mr Griffiths said: “We all enjoy the romance of the FA Cup in Newport and this Sunday will be no different.

"In normal times Rodney Parade would be packed to the rafters with fans – but obviously the ongoing difficulties with the pandemic means the game must be played behind closed doors.

"I would really encourage supporters to share it with family and friends who also follow the County.”

Ms Bryant said: “It’s been a great start for County this season and in usual times the Hazel Stand would be bouncing.

"County are leading the way off the pitch too - they really are a club with their heart and soul in the community. Their commitment to tackling issues such as mental health, helping out with education and breaking down barriers is brilliant and has been important during the pandemic.

"I’m really proud to be a County supporter and I know I’m like so many others who can’t wait to get back to Rodney Parade. This is a great initiative by Jamie and I wholeheartedly support it.”

Ms Morden said: “In very tough times Newport County have shown leadership both on and off the field through with valued local initiatives, including on mental health, and it's a real testament to the dedication and passion of those working behind the scenes that the disruption caused by the pandemic has in no way derailed the club's inclusive, community-oriented approach.

"I wish them all the best in the cup this weekend."

Ms Jones said: “Newport County is and always has been a football club for local people and supported by them. They deserve the financial support to get through this difficult time in order to continue their brilliant work entertaining supporters and providing additional support to fans and their families.”