‘I’m concerned some teams won’t survive this’ – Man Utd manager Stoney calls for unified approach to save women’s game

Covid-19 has already brought serious financial implications for women’s teams and the Red Devils boss is worried about the lasting impact

Casey Stoney has called for a unified approach to save the women’s game during the Covid-19 shutdown and praised Manchester United for how they have dealt with the crisis.

The financial implications of the current pandemic could be disastrous for women’s teams across the country with a number expected not to survive.

The Football Association (FA) is preparing for the fact top teams in the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship, as well as teams further down the football pyramid, could fold and Stoney thinks there needs to be a collective effort to save as many teams as possible.

“I’d be naive if I said I wasn’t concerned that some teams won’t survive this,” Stoney told Goal.

“We don’t have the finances or resources and this is having a massive impact on the economy, not just the women’s game.

“When I was at Charlton when times got hard financially, when the club got relegated the first thing to go was the women’s team, so of course the pandemic could have an impact, I pray it doesn’t but, unfortunately I think it could have a huge impact on the women’s game.

“There needs to be a unified approach, the clubs, the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association], the FA because if big clubs are struggling you can only imagine how that’s affecting teams lower down the pyramid. A unified approach to help is what’s needed.”

While it has been a concerning time for the game with ongoing discussions over how and when the league can be finished – and the financial implications already inflicted on many clubs – Stoney is complimentary about how her employers have dealt with the crisis.

The club confirmed last week they would not be furloughing any of their staff and all employees would be paid a full salary even if they were unable to fulfil their working commitments from home.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the club and the way they have dealt with this,” Stoney said. “We have a senior leadership meeting every week and the information from the top down through me there’s never been a mention of furloughing and the support has been incredible.

“They have led the way and shown their class throughout it. I’ve had messages from [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward checking in and making sure I’m okay with the family and stuff. Things like that go a long way.”