Calls for FA to remove women's teams involved in foiled ESL breakaway from sitting on its board

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Bethany England of Chelsea reacts - GETTY IMAGES
Bethany England of Chelsea reacts - GETTY IMAGES

The Football Association has been asked to remove the women’s teams involved in the foiled European Super League breakaway from sitting on the board running the game.

Even though Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham attempted to break away and join this new competition, club representatives remain on the FA Women's Super League (WSL) and FA Women's Championship board.

Telegraph Sport has seen correspondence from a Championship club demanding their removal, which would lead to a shake-up of who governs the women’s game.

WSL chair Dawn Airey has also been asked for transparency over which clubs have received Government funding through the Football Foundation to improve facilities, with fears the rebel clubs are also getting financial assistance.

Four clubs will receive a slice of funding understood to be £2.5 million. The FA has insisted this has been done after an audit of matchday amenities at grounds.

After being part of the botched ESL, the continuing bad blood is illustrated by complaints at the breakaway clubs remaining as board members. The six club representatives include Bruce Buck from Chelsea, Svenja Geissmar of Arsenal, Manchester City’s Omar Berrada and Rebecca Caplehorn from Tottenham.

Leicester City and Durham complete the club representatives and the rest of the board is made up of three independent members and three FA appointed members. With the re-election process starting at the end of the season, the ESL clubs could come under threat as board members.

The emails sent to the FA from the Championship club also questions a perceived "policy of catapulting Premier League clubs through the Women's Football pyramid”. In 2018, an open licence application process saw clubs including Manchester United join the Championship, despite not fielding a women's side for the previous 13 years. In the same summer, West Ham United leapt from tier three to tier one through the same off-field process.

That came after 2014 had controversially seen Manchester City replace one of the women's game's pioneering clubs, Doncaster Rovers Belles, in the top tier. More recently, rejected licence applications have seen former WSL teams Yeovil and Sunderland drop down the leagues, and nine of the 12 sides in the top division are now linked to a men's Premier League side.