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Merthyr Town fans hit out at club’s deal with arms company

16 May 2024 4 minute read
Representatives from General Dynamics and Merthyr Town (Credit: MTFC)

David Owens

Merthyr Town football club has faced a backlash from supporters after it announced a sponsorship deal with arms company General Dynamics.

Within minutes of announcing the deal on its social media platforms, the club was inundated with criticism over the arrangement with the global company who are one of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers and who have supplied weapons that have been used in Yemen and Gaza.

The club wrote: ‘We are delighted to announce that General Dynamics Land Systems will support Merthyr Town Football Club for the 2024/25 season!

‘Here’s to looking forward to a successful future together.’

General Dynamics added: ‘Exciting news for Martyrs fans! We are delighted to announce that General Dynamics Land Systems will support Merthyr Town Football Club for the 2024/25 season. Members of the senior team visited the impressive facility at Penydarren Park recently to meet club officials and enjoy a tour around the stadium. Here’s looking forward to a successful future together.’

However many fans were appalled at the news of the controversial sponsorship deal.

Merthyr Town supporter, Cllr Rhys Mills said the sponsorship risked tarnishing the club’s reputation as a community club.

“As a fan owner of the Martyrs, I’m deeply concerned about the club’s decision to accept sponsorship from General Dynamics. It aligns a community-focused football club with a company known for its role in the arms industry, potentially undermining the club’s ethical stance and alienating supporters who value peace and social responsibility. This move risks tarnishing the club’s reputation by associating it with controversial military activities rather than community values.”

Merthyr fan and Welsh football journalist Evan Powell wrote on Facebook: “Innocent people are dying at the hands of the sponsor, having any association with that is grim. Whatever money the club makes is tainted with blood, when they’re helping continue a genocide as we speak.”

Adam Johannes, from Cardiff Stop the War Coalition called on members of the public to boycott the club until they end their relationship with General Dynamics.

“Decent people will be sickened that Merthyr Town Football Club is accepting support from an arms company supplying serial human rights abusers, whose product has been used to commit war crimes, including the killing of children.

“A New York Times reporter found evidence that General Dynamics product in August 2018 was used by Saudi Arabia in an attack on a Yemeni school bus that left 44 innocent children dead.

“Currently, General Dynamics is supplying the Israeli military with bombs to flatten Gaza in what the International Court of Justice has called a plausible case of genocide, with over 14,000 children killed.

“The Vietnam-era MK-84s bomb that General Dynamics supplies Israel with are so lethal when dropped on densely populated areas, that following Israel’s previous 2014 war on Gaza, a United Nations investigation said these bombs constituted a violation of the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

“We would urge members of the public to protest and boycott Merthyr Town FC until they end their relationship with arms companies.”

We have contacted Merthyr Town FC for a comment.


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DfromCali
DfromCali
6 days ago

Be careful what you publish, the International Court of Justice has said no such thing.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 days ago
Reply to  DfromCali

From the website of the International Court of Justice

https://www.icj-cij.org/case/192

Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip
(South Africa v. Israel), Request for the modification of the Order of 26 January 2024 indicating provisional measures,
Order of 28 March 2024, para. 25.

[T]he Court has found that South Africa has advanced a plausible genocide claim.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 days ago

Ajax meet Achilles, how many Merthyr supporters take GD’s dollars…?

Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
6 days ago

Merthyr Town FC taking blood money now then. How desperate can you get!! 😡

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
5 days ago

There should be a boycott of Merthyr Town Football Club as a result of their sponsorship deal!

It should go further, to enhance the pressure on the football club to do the right thing, there should be a boycott of Merthyr Town.

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