Outrage as non-league football club axes entire roster of women’s teams: ‘Horrible’

 (Alamy )
(Alamy )

An English football club has come under fire after its committee voted to remove its entire female section – from the under sevens to the first team – leaving more than 100 players without a club.

News of the decision made by Thornaby FC’s committee was revealed on Facebook by a page for the women’s section, who expressed their disappointment at the remarkable decision.

“Yesterday we found out that a majority on the Thornaby FC committee voted to remove the entire female section from the club,” Thornaby FC Women wrote.

“This leaves over 100 girls without a club. We would like to thank all of our Coaches, Volunteers, Players, Supporters and Sponsors for their dedication over the last 3 years, you are all AMAZING.

“We are all devastated to hear of the Thornaby FC decision and would like to thank the members of the club who voted to keep female football.”

The post was accompanied by a selection of pictures showcasing the club’s female players, who participated in teams from under sevens to women’s in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees in North Yorkshire.

Our Sporting Life found that less than a quarter of women have played on a football team compared to 60.6 percent of men.

But despite this startling difference, the number of girls playing football in England increased from 118,000 in 2018 to 777,000 in December 2022 girls play football in England.

News of the decision was met with outrage on Facebook.

One commentator remarked: “Sadly this happens in too many sports. I hope there’s a solution for all these girls.”

“I see a swift meeting to reverse this situation coming,” added a second. “Unless it’s all a PR stunt in which case well done because I’m now a Thornaby Women’s FC supporter.”

Another nearby football club then took the opportunity to give the women a place to play, while yet another outraged commentator said they should not remain at Thornaby FC even if the committee makes a u-turn on its decision.

One Facebook user, who identified themselves as a player on the under 15 team, said: “I think this decision is absolutely vile, to ostracise a whole gender, is simply wrong.

“Women’s football is supposed to be progressing yet we have moved backwards? It’s literally discrimination and the Thornaby fc committee that made this decision should all be ashamed of themselves.

“The fact that they think this is justifiable is disgusting. Yous should seriously be embarrassed to have made this decision.” [sic]

The club has been slammed by online commentators for removing its female section (Alamy)
The club has been slammed by online commentators for removing its female section (Alamy)

In a subsequent post to the club’s social media, chairman Garry Morris said he did not agree with the committee’s decision and he has asked the board to “reconsider its decision.”

This is not the first time that the club has hit the headlines in recent years.

The club was the victim of an arson attack last June that left it in a state of ruin, but thanks to various donors, they were able to rebuild.

This did not go unnoticed by social media commentators in light of the committee’s decision to remove the club’s female section.

One Twitter (X) user wrote: “A lot of us from the wider footballing community in the North East rallied round and contributed financially (me included) when you had your arson attack last year. Sort of wondering why we bothered if you’re now making decisions like this!”

The club wrote on its official Facebook page that the committee concluded that removing the female section was the only way to combat staffing issues affecting the running of the club.

The statement read: “The committee held an emergency meeting with all concerned and discussed the whole future of the club including the events over the last 12 months and after discussions it was felt the only way to continue was without the women and running with only the men’s team as before they came to the club also with the Staffing levels very low the day to day running of the club is in doubt.” [sic]

The Independent has reached out to Thornaby FC for comment.