West Ham Ladies have announced the shock departure of six players, including captain Stacey Little. In a statement the club said that, following a meeting the manager, Marc Nurse, had decided to release the women from the squad. The players, however, claim they quit following a fall-out with the manager
Little announced her decision on Twitter a few days after the Hammers’ 1-0 cup defeat away at C&K Basildon saying she had ‘no choice’ having been ‘treated disgustingly by the club’. She later released a statement which added: ‘I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken to be leaving the club I love and have done so much for. ‘When they say blood, sweat and tears, that’s exactly what I have given and so much more. I was the proudest captain and I would have run through brick walls for my team.
‘It was a very hard decision to make but there’s only so much you can take. I have been driven out of this club by two individuals for having a voice. I can’t thank everyone enough for the support [West Ham fans] have given me every single week and how you continue to do so. It means so much you truly are the best fans in the world and will always be my West Ham family.’ Kerry Stimson, Emma Sherwood, Lily Mellors, Kelley Blanchflower and Kayleigh Xidhas have joined Stacey Little in leaving.
On Twitter, Stimson said: ‘We requested for Marc Nurse to leave as he isn’t good enough [as manager] but he said he won’t and if we wanted to leave then go, six of us.’ Media officer Tommy Wathen also left his post. However, chairman Steven Hunt said the changes were necessary to take the club forward. ‘A meeting was called by the manager for Tuesday evening to announce his decision to release a number of senior players, including Stacey Little, whom he deemed surplus to requirements,’ he told BBC Sport.
‘The club is focusing its future on its main players such as Aditi Chauhan, the Indian international, and Giulia Ferrandi from Italy. ‘We also have a number of new signings being discussed, including players from Women’s Super League teams.’
The news comes after a tumultuous start to the season for the Ladies. A thrashing away at Coventry City on the opening day was followed by two defeats in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division, against newly-promoted Forest Green Rovers and at home to C&K Basildon. The Ladies are now gearing up to take on Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently third and fifth respectively, without some of their most senior players.