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Decision to axe women's teams 'not taken lightly'

The decision to axe the entire women's section of a football club was complex and "not taken lightly", its former chief executive has said.

Thornaby FC's committee announced on Sunday it had voted to continue without its female teams due to "financial constraints".

The move provoked an angry response from the players left without a club.

But Trevor Wing, the club's former chief executive, said the decision was made with the club's long-term stability in mind, as maintaining both men and women's first teams was "financially unsustainable".

First team manager Abbey Lyle said players had been "floored" by the decision.

She told the BBC there had been an outpouring of support for the women and girls following the announcement, with sponsorship and new clubs offered.

'Challenging times'

In a statement, Mr Wing said the move followed "extensive discussions and deliberation with all stakeholders" and it had become "evident maintaining both the men's and women's first teams was financially unsustainable".

"Given the men's team has been an established part of Thornaby FC since 2000, the difficult decision was made to prioritise its continuity," he said.

Regarding the girl’s junior teams, he said they had historically operated independently, using the Thornaby FC name and badge only, while playing at various other venues.

"Throughout my career, I have actively promoted women's football, serving as a coach, secretary for Middlesbrough Ladies, and as a representative on the FA’s Women’s Committee," he added.

"I remain dedicated to supporting and promoting women's football and hope that the community will continue to support Thornaby FC through these challenging times."

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