Updated: Bid to secure future for Leeds United Ladies footballers

Have your say

Plans have been put forward in a bid to secure the future of Leeds United Ladies football team.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed yesterday (Thursday) that the team are facing an uncertain future amid claims they can no longer use the Whites brand.

The Leeds United Foundation, who have supported the club financially for the last four years, said it was with “regret” that they can no longer back the team.

Fans now look set to put a proposal before Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino on Tuesday in a bid to secure the ladies team’s future.

Supporters have also contacted the FA National Women’s Premier League to postpone a notice to withdraw the team, which was formed in 1989, from the competition.

Gary Cooper, who will stand down as chairman of Leeds United Supporters’ Trust this autumn, said he hopes the club will be allowed to continue to use the same name.

He said: “We are hoping that we will get a chance to speak to Massimo on Tuesday.

“All of the players, parents, sponsors and people involved want to keep this going and there is no reason why it can’t.

“We want to carry on the proud tradition of the Leeds United family.

“Historically the Ladies have been one of the biggest clubs in women’s football.”

The Foundation is the charitable arm of its parent football club Leeds United.

James McAulay, chairman of the Foundation, said yesterday: “It is with regret that the Trustees of the Leeds United Foundation have been forced to take the decision that they can no longer support the provision of the Leeds United Ladies team.

“Last week the Foundation were informed by Leeds United that the ladies team were no longer able to use the Leeds United name or brand.

“The Foundation has been supporting the provision of the Leeds United Ladies since 2010.

“Without the Leeds United name and brand the continuation of the ladies team under the Foundation is regrettably not sustainable.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved with Leeds United Ladies, past and present, for their support over many years.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed that the Leeds United Ladies team was on the brink of collapse in 2007 because of funding issues.

Leeds United removed their funding of the team in 2005 but they continued under sponsorship arrangements until 2010 when the Foundation stepped in.