AFC Fylde Makes Tough Decision

Photo Credit: In Awe Digital Media

Shock news came on Tuesday as Women’s National Football team AFC Fylde became the first team to be officially disbanded as a direct result of the global coronavirus pandemic following a difficult decision made by the club.  There have been warnings that women’s teams may struggle to continue to stay afloat during the pandemic, but it is sad news that it would be our local team to take the first hit.

A statement released by the club explained that “Due to the current and ongoing fluid situation regarding the Covid-19 virus, the chairman has had to take the tough decision to disband the women’s team in its current format”.

The team had previously been managed by Preston North End before becoming affilliated with AFC Fylde in 2016.

Photo Credit: In Awe Digital Media

Former manager Luke Swindlehurst took to social media to express his shock at the announcement, saying “Very sad to hear my former team Fylde Women are being disbanded.  Worked incredibly hard to move them from Preston North End to AFC Fylde to maintain their future. Any players from Fylde need a club let me know. I will support you to get a fresh start.”

The team was in the third tier and were in the ninth position of the league of 12 teams before the season became voided due to the pandemic.

AFC Fylde chairman, David Haythornthwaite, said that the club was “wholeheartedly committed to its women’s team”.

Manager Conrad Prendergast said in a statement: “We have already commenced with plans for next season with the support and backing from our club being better than it ever has been before.”

However, as the weeks have worn on, the position of the club has changed. “We have spoken with Conrad and he is aware of the plans we have put in place, and we thank him for his understanding at this difficult and uncertain time,” the statement on Tuesday night said.

Photo Credit: In Awe Digital Media

“We wholeheartedly understand and accept this is not the news anyone wanted to give, or to receive and everyone at the club would like to offer our best wishes to all current players and staff for their future careers. I sincerely hope that all supporters both of the men’s and women’s team, along with all your families, are keeping safe and well at this difficult time.”