WSL stars show support for Birmingham Women players over work conditions row

SEVERAL WSL stars have thrown their support behind Birmingham Women over their dispute with the club's board over work conditions.

First-team Blues players signed a letter sent to clubs' chiefs voicing concerns over inadequate facilities, wages and medical support, according to The Telegraph.

And now WSL aces including Chelsea star Fran Kirby are making a stand in solidarity with Blues players.

Kirby, 27, whose brace helped Chelsea thrash Birmingham 6-0 on Sunday, was one of the first to stand up for her league rivals.

In a post shared with more than 100,000 of her Twitter followers, Kirby said: "It’s a shame in 2021 we still have women’s teams competing in the top league in England having to ask for help like this.

"We should all be given the chance to perform at the highest level we can, Birmingham Women we all stand with you."

Arsenal ace Katie McCabe demanded that things have to "improve" in her tweet.

McCabe said: "The players, staff & fans of Birmingham FC deserve so much more."

And ex-Blues centre-back Kerys Harrop cited the concerns raised in the letter as one of the reasons she left the club for Tottenham in 2020

Harrop, who made 135 Birmingham appearances between 2011 and 2020, pleaded for the club not to neglect the women's squad.

Harrop tweeted: "This is heart-breaking, one of the reasons I felt I had to leave the club.

"Birmingham City FC, please don’t let the hard work and personal investment that people who care about the club have put into the women’s team go to waste.

"This is a great time to be a part of women’s football!"

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There was also dismay expressed from within the club, and defender Harriet Scott tweeted that the players "deserved better."

Shebahn Aherne, who was the first to report on the complaint letter in a Sky Sports News interview, revealed players were frustrated at a number of issues at the club.

These include some staff being paid below minimum wage,lack of support with away game travel and worries about playing finances affecting match-day squad numbers. 

Aherne claims that conditions are so bad at the club that one player's parent had to come in to build a weights rack for the team.

BBC Sport reports team boss Carla Ward is acting as a mediator between her players and the board to try and resolve issues flagged in the complaint letter.

SunSport contacted Birmingham City for further comment on Monday.

A spokesman says the club is due to issue a statement in response to many of the claims made. 

The fallout couldn't have come at a worse time for Blues who are currently fighting for WSL survival.

Ward's side are ninth and just three points above Aston Villa who are currently propping up the table.

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

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