Thornaby FC is set to welcome a new chief executive officer as the club aims to bring back its women's teams after a controversial decision to axe it. 

Alison McGee, director of quality at Middlesbrough-based critical power infrastructure firm Durata, is in line to join the new board. 

The Teesdale Park club has moved to create a new senior management team just days after coming under fire over its controversial decision to axe all its women’s teams

The news of the women’s team scrapping - which left over 100 female players without a club - sparked fury across the grassroots football community. 

High-profile sports stars such as Lioness Beth Mead and Tanni Grey-Thompson voiced their anger at the decision, which cited staffing concerns. 

It later emerged that the women’s team was placed under threat “due to financial constraints.”

Under 15 players Lily Lucas, Hollie Davidson, and Ellie Errington were just three of the over 100 young footy fans hit by the sudden news, with their parents saying the “disgraceful” decision “took the shine” off the team’s recent victory at the Chester-le-Street 7v7.

Lily Lucas, Hollie Davidson, and Ellie Errington (Image: UGC)

Shortly after, six board members who voted to scrap the teams stepped down, including former chief executive Trevor Wing. 

This left Phil Genery and chairman Gary Morris - who both fought against the decision at the meeting - as the only board members left at the club.

Mr Wing later released a statement to “clarify the situation” - saying that the “complex” decision came after financial constraints placed “significant pressure” on the club. 

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

‘So much potential’ for Thornaby FC

Alison - whose firm sponsored Thornaby FC Women for the last two seasons - said there is “so much potential for men and women together, girls and boys, one club.”

Pending further financial due diligence and clarity, Alison will be supported on the new board by Mr Morris, Mr Genery, and Rachel Stonehouse.


Alison’s husband and Durata managing director John McGee is also planning to join the board.

They believe the girls’ teams and the women’s team now have the foundations to carry on. 

There is also a desire to keep driving the men’s Northern League team forward and create a new grassroots boys’ section at the club. 

Alison said: “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.

“There is so much potential for men and women together, girls and boys, one club. Having been a regular at Thornaby FC Women in recent times and formed some strong relationships, I’m excited to start this role with the aim of taking the club forward.

“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.”

Chairman Garry Morris said: “The last week has been challenging for all concerned. However, we will now take all the positives that have come from the turmoil, use it for good and focus on a positive future not only for our female squads but all associated with Thornaby FC.

“We can start to plan for the future growth, success and prosperity of the club both on and off the pitch. We are aware of the huge media attention that has been caused by the events of the last week and we would now ask everyone to show their support and get behind us as we transition to an exciting future for Thornaby FC.”

Thornaby FC Women’s co-managers Abbey Lyle and Claire Streeter have issued this statement: “We want to shine a positive light and we are proud of the football community for standing by us on this.

“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. We want to move forward with the men’s team - hoping to develop a pathway for the boys in the near future.”

Thornaby FC men’s manager Deano Browne, who took over in 2023, said: “This is my second time at the club, I know the local community and the people of Thornaby well. I love the club and see huge potential here.“The people coming in are desperate to succeed and help the club become a focal point for the community, with teams for girls and boys. 

“I would like to thank the people who were here previously because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been here. 

“Without them, there wouldn’t have been a club because of the hours and hours of voluntary work they carried out behind-the-scenes. I’d also like them to know the club is moving forward and is in good hands.”