Gold Coast City has today confirmed that it will not contest the PlayStation 4 NPL Women’s competition next season.
Due to concerns about the wider structure of women’s football in its region – including both community and elite competitions – the club opted to not submit an application for a licence extension in the women’s competition.
This decision means the club will not field teams in the senior women’s and junior girls competitions of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues during the next licence period.
The club statement coincides with the impending announcement by Football Queensland of the competition’s make-up for the next licence period, which begins in the 2018 season.
Gold Coast City FC President Andrew Purnell-Webb said the club’s decision is a result of practical commercial and operational considerations.
“We have operated teams in this competition for the past five seasons in junior girls and senior women and it is our experience that the level of community interest will make it difficult to fully field all teams during the next licence period.”
“From a commercial and football development stand point it would be irresponsible for Gold Coast City FC to commit to such a competition at this time.”
The club stresses this decision will not impact upon its participation in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues in senior men, youth and junior boys football.
Gold Coast City FC was granted a five-year licence in the men’s, youth and junior boys competitions earlier this year.
Purnell-Webb said the decision was taken to announce City’s position prior to the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Women’s Queensland competition’s official announcement in the interests of clarity.
“We believe it is important to tell our members, supporters, and the region’s football community of our club’s position in advance of the announcement from Football Queensland,” Purnell-Webb said.
“We hope this pre-empts and prevents the potential circulation of half-truths and rumour in concern to this matter.”
“While we clearly understand and respect that the structure of women’s and girls’ football evokes strong opinions, we believe this decision is in the best interests of the club at this time.”
Gold Coast City FC will continue to support its women’s and girl’s teams for the remainder of the current season.
Further, the club acknowledges the contributions of all players, coaches and parents that have been part of its women's and girls' program over the past five seasons.
The club extends its best wishes to all club’s that have applied for the next PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Women’s licences, and congratulates in advance those that are successful.