Lioness Beth Mead ‘disgusted’ by Teesside side Thornaby FC’s decision to sack the entire women’s section |  Football news
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Lioness Beth Mead ‘disgusted’ by Teesside side Thornaby FC’s decision to sack the entire women’s section | Football news

The Thornaby FC committee has decided to release all U7 women’s and girls teams to the senior squad; There has been widespread criticism on social media, including Beth Mead, Bethany England and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

8:59 am, UK, Tuesday 11 June 2024

A Teeside football club has come under fire for cutting its entire women’s section, with Lioness Beth Mead saying she was “disgusted” by the decision.

A controversial move by the committee of Teesside-based football club Thornaby FC has left more than 100 women and girls without a football club.

The women’s section, writing on Facebook, said the club’s U7, U8, U10, U11, U15 and women’s teams would be lost.

“This leaves over 100 girls without a club,” they said. “We are all devastated by Thornaby FC’s decision and would like to thank the club members who voted to maintain women’s football.”

PA Media added that six committee members who voted to withdraw the women’s section of their football club had resigned.

Mead, who grew up near Whitby in North Yorkshire, said the girls deserved better.

“I am disgusted by this decision,” the England and Arsenal striker wrote on X. “The women’s game is gaining momentum but we still have committees making these terrible decisions.

“It’s not good enough, these young girls deserve better. I would love to send the team an autographed England shirt to give them some inspiration.”

She added: “If I can help with anything, please contact us, we women need to stick together.”

Eleven-time Paralympic gold medalist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson called the move “very sad”, while Spurs and Lionesses player Bethany England added: “It shouldn’t be happening.”

The Football Association was “extremely disappointed” and said its local branch, the North Riding County FA, ​​was in contact with the club.

Maz Pacheco, defender of Women’s Super League club Aston Villa, also wrote on X: “This baffles me… How can you just remove an entire women’s and girls section from your club?”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen expressed “outrage” at the decision, which he attributed to “1970s thinking”.

“With the summer of the European Championships approaching, we should try to expand the game, not put up barriers,” he said in a statement published on X.

“If my daughter wants to play soccer when she grows up, I expect she will be treated the same and have the same opportunities as boys her age.”

Houchen added that he would contact the club and inform them that “this terrible decision requires an immediate reversal.”

“The girls won the trophy on the day the team was eliminated.”

Nikki Lucas, whose daughter Lily is captain of the club’s U15 team, said she had just won the tournament when she heard the news.

She said News from heaven: “We were all absolutely devastated, shocked and really depressed. The girls spent the entire day at a tournament in Chester-le-Street where they absolutely blew it, lifted the trophy and then went home with this news.”

Ms Lucas, a Middlesbrough resident, said parents had been organizing fundraisers for the girls’ teams throughout the season to cover the costs.

She added that young players would be heartened by the support the girls’ and women’s teams have received since the news broke.

The U15 team finished second in their league, won two cups and were invited to represent Teesside in a national tournament this summer.

Thornaby Women manager Abbey Lyle, who led the senior team to third place in their first season, said her players were “absolutely swamped”.

Lyle told PA Media: “We narrowly missed promotion and that was in our first season. It has nothing to do with our position, rather with gender, because there is no other reason for it.

“We are all friends of women. Many of them do it for mental health, we have firefighters, paramedics, policewomen, they do it to escape from life.

“They come, meet friends, laugh, play sports. It affects everyone differently and I think we had to approach it differently for each age group.”

Thornaby has also received huge support from other grassroots clubs on social media, with Lyle admitting the response has been “amazing”.

The chairman was voted down

Club chairman Garry Morris also criticized the decision.

“In light of the recent actions taken by the board of Thornaby FC, of ​​which I am chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to explain my thoughts at an extremely difficult time for the club and, more importantly, the players affected by these actions,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I disagree with the decision to withdraw support for the women’s team and, along with another committee member, voted against it at yesterday’s extraordinary meeting.

“I have informed the board of my feelings and asked them to reconsider their decision and also to consider my position on the board as patrons and trustees of the football club.”

He added: “The club’s fans give us the strength to make the right decisions for the club’s future and everyone who shows their unwavering support for both the men’s and women’s teams across all age groups deserve better.

“I firmly believe that the decision made yesterday will not result in this and I will explain this to the other board members.”

On Monday evening, Thornaby FC’s official X account – formerly known as Twitter – was deleted.