Gwent women's football club makes 'heartbreaking' decision to close down

Abergavenny Women FC players protested against their controversial relegation from the Adran Premier League in 2021.
Abergavenny Women FC players protested against their controversial relegation from the Adran Premier League in 2021.

A WOMEN’S football club has hit out at the game’s governing body after taking the “heartbreaking” decision to shut down its operations, two years after its controversial relegation from the top division in Wales.

Abergavenny Women FC announced “with great sadness” it was bringing the club to an end, claiming “the cards are stacked against us” despite the best efforts of its players and staff.

The club, which was booted out of the restructured top flight of the Welsh women’s football pyramid two years ago, said in a statement on Monday it was an “impossible task to continue” operations.

Abergavenny Women spent nine years in the top division, winning two league titles, but was relegated in 2021 when the Football Association of Wales (FAW) announced a major revamp of the women’s game.

The side fought back to win promotion to the top flight, the Adran Premier League, this season but endured a difficult return, winning two of its 20 games.

The club said in its statement it had been “charged with over £2,000 in FAW fines” and suffered a six-point deduction this season, and alleged “we are not all playing under the same rules”.

The FAW said it "strongly refutes" the club's allegations.

Players and coaches will be supported to find new teams, and in its emotional statement, Abergavenny Women expressed its “sincere thanks to all the coaches and officials over the years that have given their time and dedication to the club”.

“We also want to thank our loyal supporters who have stuck with us throughout,” the club said, also extending thanks to its grounds staff, sponsors and Abergavenny Town FC, the local men’s club, for their support.

“To every player that pulled on the Abergavenny Women FC shirt, we wish you all the very best in your footballing journey, wherever that takes you,” the club added.

“For some your whole career has been with Abergavenny, for others just a season or two, but we have been your football family and we will continue to support each and every one of you to move on and remain playing.”

Following the club's statement, a spokesperson for the FAW said: "The Football Association of Wales is aware of the statement posted to social media by the official Abergavenny Women Football Club accounts.

"The FAW is awaiting official correspondence from Abergavenny Women FC on their intention to withdraw from official competitions for the 2023/24 season.

"The FAW strongly refutes the allegations made in the club’s statement towards the association.

"The club has been required to adhere to the same FAW and Adran Premier rules and regulations as other clubs playing within the same competitions."