EXCLUSIVE: National Women’s League chiefs Resign en masse after a row over the start of the season on the same day as England’s World Cup final defeat to Spain last weekend.
- The reasons for the resignations were described as “varied and complex”.
- Difficulties in recruiting unpaid volunteers to run the National League have been mentioned
- The FA has stepped in and will take immediate control of the organization of the competitions.
The entire Women’s National League board has resigned following a row over the decision to kick off the season on the same day as England lost in the World Cup final to England. Spain last Sunday.
The surprise resignations from the National League, which comprises six divisions from the third tier, including clubs such as Newcastle, Wolves and Nottingham Forest, illustrate the continuing structural problems within women’s football despite the Lionesses’ World Cup success.
National League board members were made aware of the massive walkout in an email sent by chairman Carol West on Friday night, which was seen by Mail Sport.
While describing the reasons for the resignations as “varied and complex”, the criticism received regarding the organization of matches last Sunday seems to have been a significant factor.
Difficulties in recruiting volunteers to lead the National League on an unpaid basis also played a role.
The decision to stage the opening weekend as the Lionesses contested the World Cup final was reportedly a big factor in the mass quits.
Difficulties recruiting unpaid volunteers to run the National League as the cores watched the final in Australia also played a role
The National League comprises six third tier divisions, such as Newcastle, Wolves and Nottingham Forest.
The FA reportedly offered to step in to run the National League and would immediately take control of the running of its competitions.
The surprise move gives the governing body responsibility for six divisions and 72 clubs at a time when it is considering ceding the sport’s top two divisions, the Women’s Super League and the Championship, to the Premier League.
FA sources say they will be able to provide the National League with more resources and expertise at a time when women’s football is experiencing unprecedented growth.
While the vast majority of clubs involved are amateurs, the Newcastle squad are full-time professionals and drew a crowd of 24,000 to St James’ Park last season for a 6-1 win over Bradford that saw them promoted to third.
The mass resignations come just two years after the FA stepped in to set up a new National League board made up of its own long-time directors, Sue Hough and Kelly Simmons, and independent appointees, including the TV presenter Jessica Creighton.
The National League has been heavily criticized for timing the start of the season on the day of the World Cup final last weekend, particularly after England qualified by beating Australia in the semi-finals, a victory which led to supporters starting a petition calling for the matches to be called off. be moved.
The National League had already agreed that matches could be rescheduled if clubs submitted a request before the deadline, although in this case 11 of 12 Premier League matches went ahead last Sunday.
“The FA Women’s National League Board have unfortunately accepted the resignation of the FA Women’s National League Board of Directors,” a National League spokesman confirmed to Mail Sport.
“The board has asked the FA to put in place the necessary services to ensure the league and the clubs have the best possible support as they approach the new season.”