Women’s championship football club, Coventry United, is now in voluntary liquidation with Brexit and the pandemic being blamed.

Coventry United
DARTFORD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 06: Anna Wilcox of Coventry United claiming the ball went over the line during Barclays FA Women’s Championship match between London City Lionesses and Coventry United at Princes Park on December 06, 2020 in Dartford, England. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

The team was only halfway through its first season as a professional club and had some 30 employees, who have lost their jobs. The club had a squad of 21 players and was 11th in the 12-strong division with six points from 11 games.

During lockdowns, they had been playing at empty grounds, which made it hard to attract sponsorship and directors had said they were unable to invest any money in the club, with some citing they had been negatively affected by Brexit. It was reported that the attempts had been made to find a buyer, but these had been unsuccessful and so salaries which were due could not be paid.

According to a club statement, which announced the liquidation: “At this point, we cannot go into detail … We would like to thank everyone for the support over the last seven years. The club will keep you updated on developments of the club’s future.”

Coventry Women’s Dismay at Closure

The Coventry and Wales goalkeeper Olivia Clark tweeted: “I have no words. To come into work and to find out that you no longer have the job that you’ve always dreamed of is heartbreaking. Thanks for making me a professional footballer and for the best two seasons.” Fellow player Holly Chandler said: “Sometimes life is filled with things outside your control. I’m heartbroken.”

Coventry United was next due to play on 9 January against Bristol City but the FA now appears unlikely to allow this to go ahead. It said: “We are liaising with all relevant parties. Our priority right now is to gain as much information as possible to ensure we can provide the right support to those associated with the club.”

Meanwhile, Manchester City Women and England defender Alex Greenwood tweeted: “The sacrifices these girls make to become professional footballers to be told halfway through a season you no longer have a job, or a club, is simply not good enough.”

The former employees have been advised to claim redundancy pay through the government’s statutory scheme.