Birmingham City Women's players have addressed a letter to the Birmingham boardroom regarding lack of decent facilities, travel and budget restrictions.
The FA opened an investigation over a possible breach of the Women's Super League (WSL) Licence after the players raised concerns about working conditions that prevent the team "from performing our jobs to the best of our ability.”
The letter included issues such as travel budgets, which affected the size of their matchday squads, non full-time employees, which is against WSL licence rules and access to facilities and gyms. They also raised concerns about how they are required to travel to away games on the matchday rather than staying in a hotel overnight.
A spokesperson from the club told the Sunday Telegraph: “The letter was received, in the last week, and responded to. A request to meet with the board was made in the letter and the request was the first formal request to be received.
“It’s no secret we have one of the lowest budgets in the league, Covid has only compounded this. This certainly makes it difficult to compete, but we’re doing our best on and off the pitch in what is a very difficult time for professional football.
With regards to the travel concerns, the spokesperson said: “We are lucky to be based in the middle of the country where we can easily make journeys to our games without the need to stay overnight, whilst still being able to prepare our team in the best way possible to compete.
On medical issues, they said: ”There are no plans to not be competing in the WSL next season, and the team are fully focused on doing what is required to keep Birmingham City in the WSL.
“Both the men’s and women’s first teams are yet to secure survival in their respective leagues. This makes it hard to start contract negotiations for next season. It has been a challenging time for everyone, including us.
“We are working towards and hoping to secure survival for both teams, so we can continue to plan for the future of the club.”
Birmingham City Women lie in 9th in the WSL table, with 13 points. The club has suffered 11 losses out of 18 matches so far, with three wins and four draws.
Despite the circumstances the players also said that they “are incredibly proud to wear the club’s badge” and called for unity in order to rearrange the club’s set-up and deal with the troubling issues.
Author: Catherine Micallef