Thornaby FC’s former chief executive has spoken out after the club made the controversial decision to axe all women's teams this week. 

In a statement, Trevor Wing said he felt it important to “clarify the situation and address some misconceptions” over the decision, which left over 100 female players without a club. 

The announcement was made after an emergency meeting at the Teesdale Park club over the weekend and sparked outrage - with people slamming it as an “absolute disgrace.” 

But Mr Wing, who resigned alongside five other board members on Monday, said the “complex” decision came after financial constraints placed “significant pressure” on the club. 

He said that after “extensive discussions and deliberation” it became evident that “maintaining both the men's and women's first teams was financially unsustainable.” 

Ellie Errington, Hollie Davidson, and Lily Lucas from Thornaby FC Women's under 15s 
Mr Wing also noted that, given the men’s team had been an established part of Thornaby FC since 2000, the “difficult decision was made to prioritise its continuity.”

An initial statement from Thornaby FC cited staffing levels as the reason behind the axing, although this did little to dampen online fury as sporting stars such as Beth Mead and Tanni Grey-Thompson voiced their anger at the news. 

Thornaby FC Women’s first team manager Abbey Lyle said it “was a shock” to hear the decision - but added that the outpouring of support had “restored her faith.” 

Phil Genery and chairman Gary Morris - who both fought against the decision at the meeting - are now the only board members that remain at the club. Mr Genery told The Northern Echo that they are “continuing to work with all affected parties.”

Here is the full statement from Trevor Wing: 

I am writing to address the recent coverage and public reaction concerning Thornaby Football Club's decision to cut its girls' and women's teams. As the former Chief Executive of Thornaby Football Club, I feel it is important to clarify the situation and address some misconceptions.


The decision to discontinue the women's first team and junior teams has been portrayed as a sweeping and callous move, but the reality is more complex. Financial constraints have placed significant pressure on our club. After extensive discussions and deliberation with all stakeholders, it became evident that maintaining both the men's and women's first teams was financially unsustainable. Given the men's team has been an established part of Thornaby FC since 2000, the difficult decision was made to prioritise its continuity.


It is important to note that the girl’s junior teams have historically operated independently, using the Thornaby FC name and badge only, while playing at various other venues. At no point during their tenure did any of the girl's junior teams play or train at Teesdale Park. These teams were self-sufficient, and their operation could have continued under the same model. The committee's decision should not have affected how the girls' teams are run. Additionally, it should be recognised that Thornaby FC has not had boys' junior teams for several years, further highlighting the financial limitations we face.


My commitment to women's football spans over five decades, including 16 years of volunteer service at Thornaby Football Club and 15 years with the North Riding CFA. Throughout my career, I have actively promoted women's football, serving as a coach, secretary for Middlesbrough Ladies, and as a representative on the FA’s Women’s Committee. It is deeply disappointing to be mischaracterised as someone against women's football by those who do not fully understand my history or the complete context of our decision.


This decision was not taken lightly, and it was made with the club's long-term stability in mind. I remain dedicated to supporting and promoting women's football and hope that the community will continue to support Thornaby FC through these challenging times.


Thank you for allowing me to clarify these points. I trust that this will provide a more balanced perspective on the situation.