English FA WSL 1 club Notts County Ladies have folded
Notts County Ladies have folded just days before the start of the English FA WSL 1 Spring Series.
The top-flight English women’s football club, previously known as Lincoln Ladies before they were relocated in 2014, were due to face Arsenal Ladies in their opening FAWSL 1 Spring Series campaign this weekend.
The squad boasts a strong list of players including England internationals Carly Telford, Laura Bassett, Jade Moore and Jo Potter.
In a statement released by the club it was said that:
“Alan Hardy has reluctantly admitted defeat in his bid to save Notts County Ladies Football Club after facing a near-£1million bill to keep the club afloat this season.”
“The club has today been officially withdrawn from the Women’s Super League and will play no matches in the Spring Series, including this Sunday’s away fixture at Arsenal.”
Hardy said today: “I am devastated that we cannot continue the Ladies project but the numbers simply do not stack up. Continuing would have been little short of financial suicide.
“I wish to be totally transparent with supporters about the sums of money involved here. When I took over the club, HMRC and other creditors had in excess of £350,000 of unpaid liabilities.
“Additionally, I was extremely concerned that to operate Notts County Ladies for the current season was going to cost us approximately £500,000 – a figure principally made up of player and coaching salaries. Our total projected incoming revenue from attendances and sponsorship was £28,000.
“I have been tremendously impressed by the passion and enthusiasm shown by everyone connected with the Ladies set-up – manager, players and backroom team. They have represented Notts County with dignity, success and the utmost professionalism over the past three seasons. But the fact remains we simply cannot fund such a huge operating loss.
“I was also concerned that we had no real pathway for young players in Nottingham to graduate through the ranks into a WSL team.
“The existing structure is such that we have a strong elite-level team, but no academy pathway of progression through age-group teams.
“I met many times with the FA with a view to being granted RTC (Regional Talent Centre) status but realistically it would have taken more than two years to become accredited.
“It’s a very sad day for me personally and supporters should rest assured I have left no stone unturned in my quest to save the club.
“However, having taken all factors into consideration, the only possible outcome is to discontinue our Ladies club.
“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the staff and players and we all wish them every success in finding new clubs.”
— Notts County Ladies (@Official_NCLFC) April 21, 2017
Reacting to the news, players from Notts County Ladies posted on Twitter:
Been find out we have no more club…thanks @Official_NCFC left jobless and homeless
— Danielle buet (@Danibuet4) April 21, 2017
CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE JUST WITNESSED!!! NOTTS COUNTY LADIES NO LONGER EXISTS!!! ???
— Carly Telford (@carlytelford1) April 21, 2017
I have no words for what we’ve just been told! Utterly devastated!
— Fern Whelan (@Fernwhelan6) April 21, 2017
Notts County Ladies FC finished 6th in the English FA Women’s Super League 1, in 2015 the club reached the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final in which they were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea.