South West Wales

Tycroes RFC's worries after Alexandra Burke concert bid

Members of a small rugby club say they are worried it could go bust after trying to attract an X Factor star to sing at its annual music festival.

Tycroes Rugby Club in Carmarthenshire faces an uncertain future after paying a music agent £5,000 in the belief he could arrange for Alexandra Burke to perform.

But the star did not appear and the club has not had its money back.

Dyfed-Powys Police said a complaint had been received and is investigating.

Every summer since 2008, Tycroes has hosted an open air musical festival, called "Party on the Pitch" on its playing fields.

The club which is near Ammanford and celebrating its centenary, is dependant on the profit made from the festival for its survival.

This year, in an attempt to increase the festival's profile and income, the organising committee decided to try to attract a top name.

Ticket sales

The club paid £5,000 to Paul Johnson, a London-based agent, in the belief that he could arrange for Burke, a previous winner of ITV's X Factor, to headline the festival.

The festival went ahead, but without Burke.

A spokesman for Burke said: "Alexandra was not aware of this gig booking.

"She was not booked via her management or any official representative.

Image caption Tycroes chairman Meirion Powell said there had been a lot of 'disillusionment' at the club

"The booking was made by an individual falsely claiming to represent Alexandra, and neither Alexandra or her representatives received any money."

The club had to pay for replacement acts, suffering a loss in advertising revenue and a drop in ticket sales as a result.

Tycroes has been trying ever since to get its money back.

Club chairman Meirion Powell said: "There's a lot of disillusionment in the club for what has happened but we can't despair and are looking forward.

"Spirit is beginning to rise and the committee who organise Party on the Pitch are looking forward and beginning preparing for next year."

In a statement, Mr Johnson said he had not received any money.

All of the club's money had been transferred to a third party which was sub-contracted by him to deal with the booking, he said.

It is not known who has the club's money but Tycroes's committee said it was determined to ensure that the club's centenary celebrations continued.

The club's financial secretary Ian Thomas said: "We have had a lot of money in from [Party on the Pitch] over the years and it was fortunate because it has been such a disaster this year.

"We are worried about the future of the club after what has happened but we've been here for a century and I have no doubt we'll be here for another 100 years."

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