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Club Statement

On the 23rd September, The Herald reported on a football coach who has launched an Employment Tribunal claiming unfair dismissal against a Scottish league club. The article states that she was approached by an “unnamed club last year and accepted a full-time salaried position”.

Without stating which club the coach has raised proceedings against, the article goes on to detail this individual’s connection with the former Clyde ladies team. As supporters will be aware, this team was run by the charity Clyde FC Community Foundation which, although a separate entity, runs many teams for various age groups and abilities in the branding of Clyde FC. All of those teams are led by and operated by volunteers.

The club wishes to put on record that there has never been a contract of employment between this individual and either Clyde FC or the Community Foundation. Further, we are aware of no contemporary evidence whatsoever that she believed herself to be employed and entitled to a salary of any description during the six months while she was volunteering for the charity. The version of events whereby this individual now claims to have been employed, and left for the reasons stated in the media, appears to be entirely retrospective and opportunist in nature.

Today, (September 28th) the same reporter has published a further article sensationalising elements of the papers submitted to the court in connection with the case, and others have followed suit.

Clyde FC was, and remains, committed to contesting this case on points of fact and in the appropriate legal setting rather than in the media. However, given the clear intent to damage the reputation of the club with insubstantial allegations, there are aspects of these articles to which we must respond for the benefit of our supporters.

There was no question of footballers, women or otherwise, being forced to change on the pitch at Broadwood. Due to Covid restrictions, only the men’s senior Clyde team were permitted to use the changing rooms within the main stand. Even the visiting senior clubs had to use makeshift changing rooms within another stand, and this was the solution offered to the ladies team. This decision was made by North Lanarkshire Council, and Clyde FC had no latitude to deviate in any way from the conditions imposed by our landlord to prevent the spread of the virus during periods when lockdown restrictions were in place.

For clarity, there was never any relationship of any nature whatsoever between the individual raising this case and Clyde Football Club. The only relationship was that of a volunteer with the separate charity. Regrettably, the cost of defending the case, which has already exceeded a five figure sum, will impact directly on its ability to meet charitable objectives of providing valuable services often targeted at the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the community.

Notwithstanding the inevitable financial harm to the charity, we hope that this statement will reassure supporters who would have been alarmed at the claims made in the newspaper articles. The club intends to issue no further statement on this case, but reserves the right to do so in the event that any further misleading clickbait is published.