Magpie family split as Chorley FC Women end link with the men

Chorley FC Women celebrate scoring a goal at Victory Park
Chorley FC Women celebrate scoring a goal at Victory Park

The acrimonious split between Chorley’s men and women’s football teams is a disappointing situation, says Magpies chairman Ken Wright.

The ladies’ team announced at the weekend that they would no longer play their home games in the FA National Women’s League Division One at Victory Park.

They have played at the home of the men’s team since July 2018 after an agreement to become part of the ‘Magpie family’ was reached.

Although run as two separate entities, the men’s and women’s set-ups enjoyed an affiliation.

But that link now looks to have ended after the women – who play on Sundays – were told that they must pay from next month onwards to continue to use the facilities at Victory Park.

Chorley FC Women revealed that they were not able to meet those payments and so will now fulfil their remaining league fixtures at Croston Sports Club.

The situation has caused a great deal of anger in certain quarters and Wright can understand the level of feeling, but insisted it was the decision of the women’s committee to leave Victory Park.

“I am obviously disappointed that the connection hasn’t blossomed like we would like it to have done,” said Wright.

“Obviously, we have not taken the decision lightly and we have tried to negotiate with them.

“But the situation is, for us to provide the women’s team with the game experience of Victory Park was at a cost to ourselves.

“Unfortunately they have said they can’t meet that cost and as a result of that, they have found somewhere else to play.

“There’s a lot of costs which people on the outside don’t take into consideration.

“There’s a financial aspect to the use of the pitch, there’s things like the changing rooms which have to be dealt with, catering, staffing – it all comes at a cost

“We have reached a situation where we can’t continue to carry that financial load.”

Wright said that the door would remain open for the women’s team to return to playing at Victory Park if an agreement could be reached.

A statement issued by Chorley FC Women said: “The agreement in July 2018 held that CFCW’s first team would play home league and cup fixtures at Victory Park as an integral part of the Magpie family.

“CFCW’s committee explained to CFC that, as a self-funded club, we could not sustain the costs CFC quoted for continued use of Victory Park, but were happy to meet to consider how we could build a relationship both professionally and financially.

“However, this offer was dismissed by CFC.”