Following a letter sent by Birmingham City Women to the club's board over alleged unfair treatment, a statement was released earlier this week to outline the plan of action moving forward.
After the issues raised by the women's team came to light, the spotlight was very much fixated on the Midlands club. Birmingham's statement however has debunked some "factually incorrect" points that have been portrayed in the media, and the club has ensured that a meeting between the team and the board has been scheduled.
The letter signed by the first team expressed the players' disappointment over matters such as a lack of medical care and access to facilities. The Telegraph reported that the problems highlighted had been described as "prevent[ing] us from performing our jobs to the best of our ability."
Whilst a number of issues were raised, which will likely be discussed in the upcoming board meeting, the Blues Women stressed how proud they are to wear the club's badge. They have simply called for a stronger sense of unity.
What have Birmingham said about the letter?
Alongside fulfilling the team's wish to meet with the club's board, Birmingham City wrote that they "remain fully focused on doing what is required to keep Birmingham City in the division with some positive announcements already in the pipeline."
One major movement that is already set in stone is securing St. Andrew's, the current home of the men's team, as the women's permanent home stadium. This deal will come into place starting next season, as Birmingham Women's partnership with Solihull Moors comes to an end this summer.
City have confirmed that they are working hard to put more deals in place that are going to help propel the team forwards in terms of growth.
The club's statement also reads that: "it is no secret we have one of the lowest budgets in the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League". Budget was one of the issues raised in the letter put to the board, which is something the club stress they are working on behind the scenes.
"Whilst the Club has supported the Women’s set-up with large investment over recent years, this is incomparable to some of the budgets that exist in the league today," the statement reads. "The Women’s football landscape has changed drastically with more investment and resources required year-on-year."
Birmingham go on to highlight that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on "an already difficult situation", but admit that they are aware that these struggles are not unique to them.
Concluding the club's comments was the emphasis on their commitment to supporting the women's team and that they'll be working closely with the players to address their concerns, but have stressed that these matters will remain private.
Response from other players
When the letter originally surfaced, many Women's Super League players showed their support on social media.
In a recent international press conference, three members of the England national team spoke out on the issues raised and admitted that whilst they are "unacceptable", they are hoping that this will be the start of major change.
“Personally I can count myself really fortunate that I’m at a club like Man City where everything is top level and equality throughout the building is top draw," Ellie Roebuck said. “The way the league’s going and the steps it’s making to improve, I think we all need to be at a level which can help girls perform to the best of their ability.”
Millie Bright said that she felt "gutted" for the Birmingham players to be going through these difficult times and admitted that "we still need to make improvements like this and it shows where the game needs to get to."
Similarly, Lotte Wubben-Moy lauded the sense of unity amongst the women's football community, describing it as "one of the nicest things" within the sport.
“I think it’s amazing that so many players on Twitter have stood with Birmingham City on this and will continue to do so but it’s important that we continue to voice our opinions and allow our voices to be heard," the Arsenal defender continue.News Now - Sport News