Senior women’s football could survive in the county after former Lincoln Ladies manager Glen Harris launched a bid to form a new club and reunite it with Lincoln City.
The decision by the Lady Imps to rebrand as Notts County Ladies next season has caused uproar among fans, with many already turning their backs on the FA Super League club.
The move to Nottingham would leave a huge void, with no senior club in the county for talented young players to advance to, writes Mark Whiley.
However, Harris, who has managed the club over two spells, is in the throws of forming a new club which would be called Lincoln City Ladies and play up to three matches per season at Sincil Bank.
The other games could be played at Collingham FC, one of the Ladies’ former homes.
Harris has approached the Football Association about parachuting the new entity into the Combination League, a regional division at the fourth tier of women’s football.
The proposal will be discussed at a women’s football committee meeting in London tomorrow (Friday).
With the Super League expanding to two divisions from 2014, the women’s football pyramid will undergo a major revamp this summer, possibly creating an opening for a new Lincoln team.
Apart from the Super League, the women’s game plays through the winter, with new season beginning in September.
That means Harris faces a race against time to get the new club up and running, although he has already has made significant progress.
He is confident of having a competitive squad, with current reserve teamers and players from the club’s Premier League Northern days declaring an interest.
Players from the county FA’s successful Centre of Excellence could also step up.
“We feel we have the support and strength of feeling to justify a Lincoln-based club at a decent level,” said Harris.
“Potentially there could be a significant loss of quality players from senior football.
“This could affect a generation of young female footballers in the area.”
The plan hinges on whether the FA allow the club to start in the Combination League – just one step below the Premier League Northern Division – or demand they work their way up from bottom rung of the ladder.
When Fulham Ladies – the UK’s first ever fully professional women’s club – lost the backing of owner Mohamed Al Fayed, they tried to reform, but were told to start at the bottom of the pyramid.
However, Harris feels Lincoln is in a different position due to the numerous exit routes for young players in London compared to Lincolnshire.
To pledge your support, email Glen Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org