Players take action as issues at Birmingham are brought to light

Birmingham City huddle.
Birmingham City huddle before the second half of their FAWSL clash against Bristol City. (Photo by Nick Browning/JMP/Shutterstock)

Birmingham City’s squad have signed off a letter to the club complaining about a number of issues at the club including a lack of medical support at games.

Social media outlets like Twitter have been a diary of support for the players of Birmingham City. It came to light that they’ve sent a formal letter to their board with a list of concerns at their club. Bare minimum requirements like access to fitness facilities and medical support are all included. Shebahn Aherne – the sister of Blue’s midfielder Ruesha Littlejohn – took to Sky Sports to raise the issue. Since then, Fran Kirby and other big names in the league have shown solidarity and togetherness with their fellow footballers.

It has also been reported that they are often placed in a lower regard than the younger male teams, as a trusted source has informed Her Football Hub:

“The Women’s team don’t have a definite changing room or base to keeper their belongings, nor do they have a social area. They’re often moved to cater for the younger boys teams.

“One player paid for her own operation because the club refused and don’t have medical insurance.”

Former Birmingham defender Kerys Harrop retweeted the reporter’s interview with the caption, “This is heartbreaking. One of the reasons I felt I had to leave the club. @BCFC 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.”

A sign of how much more still needs to be done

BBC Sports and Sky Sports recently announced the news of a multi-million pound broadcast deal with the WSL. It means that for three seasons, games will be shown live on TV. As well as visibility and spotlight, it is due to bring huge financial gain to the players. But Birmingham could miss out on the advantages if they don’t deal with the players concerns – ones that they feel are “preventing them from doing their job.”

“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” was the message from superstar striker, Fran Kirby. She joined team-mates and opponents of other teams in sharing their thoughts on the news.

Players from all over supporting the letter against inequality

Arsenal defender, Leah Williamson said: “Another example of the imbalance between expectations of women’s athletes and the support provided to them. Things have to change to help, not hinder them.”

The club sit ninth in the table, just one point away from the relegation battle. Performances in the last few months haven’t been the usual standard of the Blues. But without a stable home ground and decent working conditions, it’s no surprise.

“As players who love this game and league, we appreciate fans for their support. We want to be here.” – Senior Player of Birmingham City. Both a fight for support and stability at their club.

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