A Newshub report says Western Springs players won’t take the field for Friday night’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League match against Auckland United to show solidarity with coach Ryan Faithfull.
The club announced last week that Faithfull was “moving on”, but Newshub “understands he was sacked after standing in support of his players’ demands.”
Senior Springs’ players wrote to the club’s board in March, seeking parity with other clubs in Auckland, and with their male counterparts in regards to expenses, use of facilities and a specialist strength and conditioning coach.
The team and the club’s board are now taking part in a mediation process with Northern Region Football.
Springs are scheduled to play Auckland United at their Seddon Fields grounds at 7.30pm on Friday.
Newshub’s report says if Western Springs fail to field a team for two consecutive fixtures, a five-figure financial penalty could be imposed, and the team could be withdrawn from the Women’s Premier League.
The Newshub report includes interviews with Football Fern Claudia Bunge who said: “It’s really sad to see the lack of support they’re getting.
“Big ups to them. That’s a really hard and uncomfortable thing to go through. Stepping down from a team is the ultimate sacrifice. Hopefully, a bit of change can start to occur.
“Leading up to a World Cup, it’s not good enough. Clubs need to be doing more.”
Last week, Western Springs issued a statement saying: “The club acknowledges that the issues raised by the women’s team could have been handled better.”
It said the breakdown in relationship with the Premier Women’s team was a disagreement on how the club could get closer to parity for the women’s programme, and how fast.
“Pay parity and support for women’s sport is a global issue across all codes and this has now come to our doorstep. We are taking this issue seriously and see it as an opportunity to get a shared understanding about what this means for all parties.”