Lioness Beth Mead ‘disgusted’ by Teesside-based Thornaby FC’s Decision to Axe Its Entire Women’s Section - Latest Global News

Lioness Beth Mead ‘disgusted’ by Teesside-based Thornaby FC’s Decision to Axe Its Entire Women’s Section

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

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

The women’s department wrote on Facebook that the club would lose its U7, U8, U10, U11, U15 and women’s teams.

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

AP Average added that six committee members who had voted to dissolve the women’s section of their football club had since 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. “Women’s football is on the rise, but we still have committees making these terrible decisions.”

“This is not good enough, these young girls deserve better. I would love to send the team a signed England shirt to inspire them further.”

She added: “If I can help in any way to reach out, we women need to stick together.”

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

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

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

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

“As we prepare for a summer of European Championships, we should look to expand the game and not build barriers,” he said in a statement published on X.

“If my daughter wants to play football later, I expect that she will be treated equally and have the same opportunities as boys her age.”

Mr Houchen added that he would contact the club to inform them that “this terrible decision must be reversed immediately”.

“Girls won the trophy on the day the team was cancelled”

Nikki Lucas, whose daughter Lily is captain of the club’s under-15 team, said they had just won a tournament when they heard the news.

she said Sky News: “We were all devastated, shocked and really disheartened. The girls had been at a tournament in Chester-le-Street all day, giving it their all, lifting a trophy and then coming home with this news.”

Mrs Lucas, who lives in Middlesbrough, said parents held fundraisers for the girls’ teams throughout the season to help cover costs.

The young players are grateful for the support the girls’ and women’s teams have received since the news broke, she added.

The U15s finished second in their league, won two trophies and were invited to represent Teesside in a national tournament this summer.

Thornaby Women’s coach Abbey Lyle, who led her senior team to third place in their first season, said her players were “completely overwhelmed”.

Lyle told PA Media: “We just missed out on promotion in our first season. It’s nothing to do with our positioning, it’s more to do with gender, there’s no other reason for it.”

“We are all friends of women. Many of them do it for psychological reasons. We have female firefighters, paramedics, policewomen. They do it to escape from everyday life.

“They come and see their friends, laugh and play sports. It has affected everyone differently and I suppose we have had to deal with it differently for each age group.”

Thornaby have also received an outpouring of support from other grassroots clubs on social media and Lyle admitted the response has been “amazing”.

Chairman overruled

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 clarify my thoughts at what is an extremely difficult time for the club and, more importantly, for the players affected by these actions,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I do not agree with the decision to withdraw support from the women’s team and, together with another committee member, voted against it at yesterday’s emergency meeting.

“I have expressed my opinion to the board and asked them to reconsider their decision and also to consider their position as a supporter and trustee of the football club.”

He added: “The club’s fans give us the strength to make the right decisions for the future of the club and everyone who shows their unwavering support to the men’s and women’s teams of all ages deserves better.”

“I am firmly convinced that the decision taken yesterday will not achieve this and I will make this clear to the other board members.”

Since Monday evening, Thornaby FC’s official X-Account – formerly known as Twitter – has apparently been deleted.

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