Former Notts County Ladies forward Kirsty Linnett and her partner, Burnley and New Zealand striker Chris Wood, have spoken of the struggles faced when the Lady Pies folded last year.
In April 2017, the controversial decision to liquidate Notts Ladies was taken by club owner Alan Hardy, who had purchased the club just months earlier.
Hardy justified his decision as absolutely necessary from a business perspective, one taken with a heavy heart, and has since gone on to set up new female teams within the club which are run more organically and sustainably.
Nonetheless, the closure of Notts Ladies remains a contentious point among many fans and followers of the women's game, and in an interview with the Guardian, Linnett and Wood spoke of the experience, which came just weeks after they had bought their first home.
“Kirsty came home and said: ‘Our club is no more,’” said Wood. “I said: ‘That can’t be possible. Notts County has folded?’ And she said: ‘No, just our side of it.’”
Linnett elaborated: “I don’t know how you can liquidate one side of a club and not the other. No one got a penny after that day but the PFA were really helpful. We had just got a house together and a puppy, and within two months I had to move to Reading and straight into a club house with four other girls.
"I can see the business side of it, our debt was half a million, but a lot of men’s teams are losing millions at every level of the game so that wasn’t a valid excuse to me. There are girls I know from that team who had no family support in the area and never found a team again.”
The liquidation of Notts Ladies “would never happen in the men’s game”, claims Wood. “Things happen in the women’s game that should not happen.”
Linnett now plays for Liverpool Women and has now set up home in the North-West alongside Wood.