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Manchester United's women's team 'are braced for an exodus of players this summer' in the wake of manager Casey Stoney's departure.
Frustration over poor training facilities at United's Carrington base led Stoney to quit her role as well as a failure to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The women's team made a temporary switch to the men's Aon Training Complex at the start of the year but players were unable to shower between training sessions and meals. © Provided by Daily Mail(
© Provided by Daily Mail(
The gym assigned to the women's team was in a tent and the nearest toilet facilities were a 10-minute walk from their training pitch.
Stoney also felt her team's budget wasn't enough to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea at the top of the Women's Super League and in other competitions.
United are now faced with the prospect of a player exodus with up to four of their squad reportedly poised to follow Stoney out the door.
The Athletic report that American duo Tobin Heath and Christen Press are expected to return to the United States.
Striker Lauren James has been linked with a transfer to Chelsea, while fellow forward Jess Sigsworth is likely to join Leicester City. © Provided by Daily Mail(
© Provided by Daily Mail(
Leicester have just been promoted into the WSL and are reportedly set to beat Tottenham to sign Sigsworth.
Stoney's United had requested a move from their usual base at Leigh to Carrington because they kept picking up injuries on what they felt were poor pitches.
However, they are still believed to have been of a better standard to the facilities provided at Carrington.
There is also a frustration at the club's unwillingness to accommodate them at Carrington on a full-time basis.
One source told Sportsmail that a move to Carrington is the 'million-dollar question', but a permanent switch is not anticipated for at least another year, if not longer.
In a statement, United said the pandemic has created unique challenges which have affected the usual training locations and schedules for the women's team at Leigh Sports Village. © Provided by Daily Mail(
They added that the club are working on a package of medium-term investment that will increase and improve facilities with the long-term intention for a full integrated approach to the training ground which includes the men, women and academy teams.
'The nature of the pandemic has created unique challenges over the last year across football and across the club in terms of mandatory protocols around training and games,' their statement read.
'These in turn have affected the usual training locations and schedules for our Women's team at Leigh Sports Village in recent months. © Provided by Daily Mail(
'We are working on a package of medium-term investment that will increase and improve facilities for the women's team.
'Long term Joel Glazer last week referenced that the club will need to significantly increase investment in Old Trafford and our training complex to ensure that the facilities remain among the best in Europe.
'The long-term intention is be for a fully integrated approach to the training ground that includes men's team, women's team and academy.'Read more