Scotland’s most successful women’s football team must be given help to prepare for their UEFA Champions League quarter final – or else damage the integrity of the women’s game, according to their club manager.
Glasgow City’s last eight tie against German champions Wolfsburg will form part of a knock-out tournament to be held in northern Spain in late August as UEFA announced its plans for the return of its biggest competitions.
But the 14-time Scottish Women’s Premier League winners must abide by strict Coronavirus regulations if they want to return to training – including testing their players and staff for Covid-19 twice a week.
That carries a significant financial burden for the part-time side with testing costing a minimum of £2500 a week.
Laura Montgomery, one of the founders of Glasgow City FC and its club manager, said they must receive help to return to training and prepare for the match – otherwise it would have adverse implications for the growth of women’s football in the county.
She said: “It is unquestionable that we take part – for the integrity of the sport in our country in general.
“It is our absolute number one priority now that we do everything to get back training.
“I can’t see us being able to play a competitive game because we will have no-one to play against before we play Wolfsburg, which also doesn’t help, but we definitely need to be training.”
The club is targeting having its squad, including Scotland stars Lee Alexander, Hayley Lauder, Jo Love and Leanne Crichton, back on the training field by early July at the latest.
The Women’s Champions League will be concluded in Bilbao and San sebastian between August 21 and 30.
Montgomery added: “Obviously these protocols are in place for a reason, they are in place for the health and safety of the nation and the health of our players.
“That is paramount for us as well – we take that very seriously so I know why they are there and why they need to be followed just now.
“Professional football is allowed to return with these conditions but there does need to be a balance and I hope that over time they can be relaxed slightly and testing will be relaxed to once a week.
“We are realistic enough to know that isn’t going to happen any time soon so we need to come up with plans with our partners to get as much help as we can to get the funding so we can take part.”