West Ham United football club has recently faced allegations of gender discrimination. The chairman of the West Ham Ladies team has levelled allegations against West Ham F.C. for breaking Football Association rules on discrimination.
Stephen Hunt, who is Joint Chairman of West Ham United Ladies F.C, has lodged a formal complaint with the Football Association. This complaint has come after months of arguments over funding and facilities.
In an interview, Hunt expressed his displeasure and said that West Ham must be fined until they understand and act like a 21st-century football club.
West Ham seems to be defiant. As a fallout of this recent complaint by West Ham Ladies Football team, West Ham has said that they will change the women’s team in the near future.
Hunt has alleged that West Ham would not allow the women’s team to find their own sponsor and as result, they had to source their own kits which in turn have drained their funds. Hunt further alleges that although West Ham promised a cheque to the women’s team to enable them to cover their costs, the money has not been realised as yet. When they contacted the club via emails for an explanation for the non realisation of the promised sum, there were no answers from the other side.
According to Stephen Hunt, the women’s team is forced to train by the roadside as West Ham doesn’t allow them access to the gym. This women’s team plays in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division, the third tier of women’s football for which they require good facilities to practice.
Because of the dwindling funds, the West Ham Women’s Football team are also not in a position to afford a physio or a bus to transport them to matches. The situation is so bad that the players are forced to play with last season’s home kit with the names of the previous players crossed out on the back.
The Joint Chairman of West Ham United Ladies F.C has accused West Ham of violating the underlying objectives of the FA to promote equality and grassroots football at all levels. Initially, Hunt felt that lack of interest prompted West Ham to act like this. But as time passed Hunt believes that the senior people of West Ham F.C have intentionally blocked the growth the West Ham Ladies team. He said, “It’s beyond negligence – it is trying to starve us of any sort of funding.”