Birmingham City situation ‘unacceptable’

Birmingham are solely three factors above the relegation zone

England goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck says the state of affairs at Birmingham City is “unacceptable”, after the squad despatched a letter to the board complaining about circumstances for the ladies’s workforce.

The letter, which has been seen by the BBC, addresses the variations of provision for the ladies’s workforce and the boys’s on the membership.

The BBC understands the Football Association plans to research.

“Looking in from the surface, it isn’t adequate,” Roebuck stated.

The Manchester City participant added: “In the ladies’s sport, we’re now at a stage the place that isn’t acceptable in any respect. I’m actually fortunate to be at a membership the place the whole lot is prime stage and the equality all through the constructing is prime drawer.

“We all have to be at a stage which may help gamers carry out to the most effective of their capability. If they are often supplied with higher amenities, that can assist the expansion of the sport and people. Hopefully it will get resolved.”

Birmingham City supervisor Carla Ward is appearing as conduit between membership and gamers following the complaints made by the workforce, which embody entry to the training-ground health club, altering rooms and journey to away fixtures.

The FA can be working with the ladies’s membership and supporting them to make sure they’re able to full their remaining fixtures this season.

Other points which the workforce have raised embody lack of funds for non-contract gamers and others incomes “lower than the minimal wage”, delays over therapy for injured gamers and claims of an insufficient squad dimension. The letter says gamers had been compelled to play when not totally match.

Roebuck’s England team-mate Lotte Wubben-Moy stated: “Without a doubt I empathise. I can not remark as I’m not a Birmingham City participant however I respect them for talking out and I feel it is an necessary a part of their growth as a membership that the [player’s] voices are heard.”

The Arsenal defender added: “One of the nicest issues about girls’s soccer is we come collectively, we stick collectively to progress the sport and it is necessary we proceed to do this.

“It’s wonderful that so many gamers have stood with them on this. It’s necessary we proceed to make our voices heard.”

The BBC contacted Birmingham City, who declined to remark.

However, in a assertion given to the Telegraphexternal-link, the membership stated: “It’s no secret we now have one of many lowest budgets within the league. Covid has solely compounded this. This actually makes it tough to compete, however we’re doing our greatest on and off the pitch in what’s a really tough time for skilled soccer.”

On journey preparations, Birmingham stated: “We are fortunate to be primarily based in the midst of the nation the place we are able to simply make journeys to our video games with out the necessity to keep in a single day, while nonetheless with the ability to put together our workforce in one of the simplest ways attainable to compete.”

In the letter, the gamers add: “The grievances laid out so far have created a considerably unfavourable work atmosphere. This prevents us from performing our jobs to the most effective of our capability.

“It has been considerably detrimental to the psychological well being of members of the ladies’s workforce.”

Birmingham have endured a number of setbacks this season. In January, they pulled out of a WSL fixture at Tottenham due to a scarcity of obtainable gamers as a result of damage.

The workforce additionally had some fixtures at their Damson Park residence postponed this seasonexternal-link due to the poor situation of the floor. The letter claims the workforce shouldn’t have common entry to “appropriate pitches”.

Birmingham are ninth within the Women’s Super League, three factors above the relegation zone with 4 video games remaining.

Several footballers have despatched messages of assist to Birmingham’s gamers.

Fran Kirby, the Chelsea and England ahead, tweeted: “It’s a disgrace in 2021 we nonetheless have girls’s groups competing within the prime league in England having to ask for assist like this. We ought to all be given the prospect to carry out on the highest stage we are able to, Birmingham Women all of us stand with you.”

Meanwhile, Kirby’s worldwide team-mate Leah Williamson known as it “one other instance of the imbalance between expectations of ladies’s athletes and the assist supplied to them”.

The Arsenal defender added: “Things have to vary to assist, not hinder them.”

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