Date:Sunday June 24 2007
Charlton Athletic have left fans angered by closing down their whole women`s academy.
Following the clubs relegation Charlton chief executive Peter Varney announced the club had to cost cut and many people at The Valley had therefore been made redundant. However he is still to confirm exactly which positions have been chopped and at no time was it mentioned the ladies team was closing down. Most expected the tea lady to go, not a whole academy of women`s football.
The club's entire women's section including all the senior teams, academy and centre of excellence, are to be shut down.
Women's team manager Keith Boanas confirmed to BBC Sport: 'All the staff involved in the women's set-up have had their employment terminated.'
He said: 'I'm devastated for the players and the many young girls who have had their dreams and aspirations shattered. I've been phoning round the players and some of them have been in tears.'
Most of Charlton's fans have reacted angrily to the news and the club could face a back lash form its supporters. Considering the men`s team have flops such as Marcus Bent taking home more in a week than it costs the club for the ladies side, this really does seem unfair on the ladies.
Charlton Ladies captain and England defender Casey Stoney told BBC Sport: 'I'm disgusted with the club - the men get relegated and we get punished.
'The club's only trophies in recent years have been won by the women's team - and in the last four seasons we were the only side apart from Arsenal to win major honours.
'Seven weeks ago we played in front of a record crowd at the FA Cup final - that's now our last match and I'm totally gutted for everyone involved on the women's side.
'I just hope that what has happened to us doesn't reverberate around the women's game - otherwise it will be in serious trouble.'
Charlton Ladies has always been a top side in the women`s game and only Arsenal have dominated the ladies league and cup competitions more than the Addicks.
Although we all love and follow the men`s game this is still sad news for a club that is supposed to be known for it's excellent family links and community football.
R.I.P Charlton Ladies
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