Women footballers were forced to change on the pitch at the Scots club that re-signed named rapist David Goodwillie, according to employment tribunal papers lodged by a former coach.

Lauren Rabbitte is suing Clyde Football Club claiming she was forced out of her post after she raised concerns that the female side were facing discrimination.

The former footballer,who played in the US and UK, claims she was headhunted to oversee women’s and girls’ football, offered an agreed salary and tasked with developing Clyde Ladies and securing sponsorship.

Glasgow Times:

She says shortly after she started in October last year players raised concerns that they had no access to changing facilities and were having to change on the pitch for matches.

According to the papers she reported her concerns to David McGoldrick, Clyde Ladies General Manager and Tom Elliot, head of community development for the club but said they were not “fully addressed”.

Ms Rabbitte escalated the matter to Aileen Campbell, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) in January, saying she was concerned about a lack of support from the club for “women at large”.

The coach is said to have secured a major sponsorship deal for the women’s team on January 28.

Three days later she said she received an email from David Caldwell, a member of the board of trustees of the Clyde FC Community Foundation, who appointed her, saying a funding application for her position had been unsuccessful.

She claims she was asked by Mr Caldwell “what her agenda was” after she raised concerns.

She says she was thereafter referred to as a volunteer and issued a statement on Twitter on March 3 saying she was “no longer associated with Clyde FC”.

The previous day the club announced the controversial re-signing of David Goodwillie, who was ruled in a civil court to have raped a woman in 2017.

The general manager of the women’s side, David McGoldrick, later announced his resignation and the team disbanded. 

Ms Rabbitte is suing Clyde for unfair dismissal with other claims of sex discrimination and harassment.

The club denies all the allegations and claims the former footballer was aware that she was being taken on in a voluntary capacity. It said Mr Caldwell had no authority to offer a paid position and she was taken on by the club's charitable wing.

Clyde FC accepts that a level of pay was discussed but said she was made aware that a salary was contingent on funding being sourced.

The club said the women’s side were not able to make use of the men’s changing facilities due to Covid restrictions and said “it does not have a legal responsibility" to provide the team with changing rooms.

It said an alternative area was identified with cubicles, toilets and heating but claims this was declined by the coach.

Clyde said it was aware that Ms Rabbitte had stated in the media that her resignation was in response to the signing of David Goodwillie.

The club said its purpose is “a senior semi-professional men’s football team”.

It said discussions had been had about creating a senior women’s football team but this was viewed as a “potential goal for the future.”

The employment tribunal is due to get underway in November.