Barnsley Women’s FC claim the FA process that led to their season being cancelled was ‘severely flawed, unfair to women’s clubs, and not fit for purpose.’

All women’s football below the top two tiers was cancelled last month then that decision was ratified last week.  That means Division One North of the National League – the fourth tier – has been expunged with the Reds top and with eight games to play.

In a statement, the club praised NHS workers battling the coronavirus, questioned the FA’s transparency when dealing with their complaints and suggested that their decision to cancel leagues was rushed.  The statement concludes: “It is obvious that there was no meaningful consultation with the Women’s National League or its clubs, that no genuine consensus was reached, and that the decision was forced onto the Women’s National League by the FA, in a process that lasted less than 48 hours in total.  This is in stark contrast to the consultation with and the different decision made for the men’s National League. We are calling on The FA to immediately suspend the decision.”

An FA spokesman said: “The decision was made in consultation between the FA, FA Women’s Board members and the Women’s Football Conference, which includes representatives of all the leagues in the women’s pyramid. The members of the FA Women’s Board and the Women’s Football Conference reached a consensus that was unanimously supported by all the league representatives. These are unprecedented and challenging times for everyone. However, the consensus was reached in the best interests of the women’s football pyramid and with the primary concern for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters.”