‘Disgusted’: Mead leads criticism after non-league club shuts women’s teams

<span>Beth Mead, the England and <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Arsenal;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Arsenal</a> forward, tweeted: ‘It’s not good enough, these young girls deserve better.’</span><span>Photograph: Dave Winter/Rex/Shutterstock</span>

A non-league club in North Yorkshire has been condemned for withdrawing support for its six women’s teams, leaving more than 100 girls and women without a club.

Thornaby FC’s committee voted on Saturday to remove the teams, which range in age from under-sevens to adults. Thornaby Women said they are “devastated” and the England forward Beth Mead said she was “disgusted” and offeredsupport to those affected.

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Mead posted on X: “Disgusted to see this decision, the women’s game is on the up but we still have committees making these horrible decisions. It’s not good enough, these young girls deserve better.”

The club posted on Facebook: “The committee held an emergency meeting with all concerned and discussed the whole future of the club including the events over the last 12 months and after discussions it was felt the only way to continue was without the women and running with only the men’s team as before they came to the club also with the staffing levels very low the day to day running of the club is in doubt.”

Since the announcement the front-of-shirt sponsor for the men’s team, Britcab, says it has requested its logo be withdrawn from the kit, while Durata, which sponsored the women’s team, says it “will no longer have any association” with the club.

On Monday afternoon it emerged that the six board members who had voted to scrap the women’s teams had stepped down.

Earlier the club chairman, Garry Morris, said: “The decision to withdraw support for the women’s team is one that I do not agree with, and along with another member of the committee, voted against it at yesterday’s emergency meeting. I have made my feelings known to the board, have asked them to reconsider their decision, and also to consider their positions on the board as patrons and trustees of the football club.

“We are empowered by the fans of the club to make the right decisions for the future of the club, and all those who show their unwavering support to both the male and female teams of all age groups deserve better. I firmly believe this decision made yesterday does not do that.”

A crowdfunding plea raised within hours the £500 sought to buy kits for the Under-15s to participate in a national competition this month. The organiser said the team had won three trophies this season.