Thornaby to reinstate all women's squads following backlash

Thornaby FC plan to reinstate their women's teams after a controversial decision to axe their entire women and girls' division earlier this week.

The English club voted on Sunday to disband their entire women and girls outfit following a difficult year, arguing that the only way to ensure the club's future was to continue "without the women." This left over 100 women and girls without a club.

The club has appointed Alison McGee, a director at Durata, one of Thornaby's sponsors, as its new chief executive officer and said its girls' and women's teams now had the "foundations to carry on."

"We have been around this fantastic club for the last couple of years, and this next chapter is an exciting prospect to be part of," she said in a statement.

"There is so much potential for men and women together, girls and boys, one club. We want to unite everyone to achieve positive results for the men and women -- and the local community.

"I'd like to thank the previous board and committee members, and volunteers, who have put in a lot of hard work over the years to lay fantastic foundations and we want to reach the next level of football at Thornaby FC."

The decision sparked backlash on social media with England and Arsenal forward Beth Mead saying she was "disgusted" by it in a post on X.

The six committee members who voted to withdraw support for the Teesside club's women's teams stepped down in the aftermath.

Pending further financial due diligence checks, McGee will be joined by chairman Garry Morris and Philip Genery -- the only two committee members to retain their seats -- and Rachel Stonehouse, along with her husband and Durata managing director John McGee.

"We want to shine a positive light, and we are proud of the football community for standing by us on this," Thornaby FC Women's co-managers Abbey Lyle and Claire Streeter said in a statement.

"We are excited about what is to come, and we want to look ahead. We would love for the club to hit new levels and look to the future."