Leicester Women sack manager Willie Kirk following investigation into his alleged relationship with a female player at the club


Leicester have sacked their manager Willie Kirk after carrying out an investigation into his alleged relationship with a female player at the club.

Kirk was suspended earlier this month while the club investigated the allegation made against the 45-year-old Scot.

He missed their two league defeats by Tottenham and Brighton, and he was also absent for the Foxes’ 2-0 win against Liverpool that secured them a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

He joined Leicester in July 2022 as director of football, before replacing Lydia Bedford in the dugout four months later.

Willie Kirk (pictured) has been sacked by Leicester following an investigation into an allegation that he had a relationship with one of his players

Willie Kirk (pictured) has been sacked by Leicester following an investigation into an allegation that he had a relationship with one of his players

Kirk was initially suspended and has now been sacked, bringing an end to his two-year stay at the club

Kirk was initially suspended and has now been sacked, bringing an end to his two-year stay at the club

He leaves Leicester with the team ninth in the Women’s Super League (WSL) having collected 16 points from their 17 matches.

Jennifer Foster and Stephen Kirby have been placed in temporary charge of the side while the club search for a permanent successor to Kirk.

Leicester are set to host Aston Villa on Saturday before the WSL pauses for the international break. 

Player-coach relationships have been in the spotlight recently in the women’s game after Jonathan Morgan was sacked by Sheffield United last month for allegedly having a relationship with a player. 

England boss Sarina Wiegman made her feelings clear on them in her press conference after announcing her latest squad earlier this week.

‘I think player-coach relationships are very inappropriate,’ Wiegman said. ‘I think we should not accept that.

‘That’s not healthy. That is basically what it is. I think in our environment, it’s a professional environment, it is all about performing and it should always be safe.

‘Things can happen but it’s inappropriate and we all should be very aware of that.

England boss Sarina Wiegman labelled player-coach relationships 'inappropriate' earlier this week

England boss Sarina Wiegman labelled player-coach relationships ‘inappropriate’ earlier this week

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes sparked controversy by saying relationships between team-mates are 'inappropriate'

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes sparked controversy by saying relationships between team-mates are ‘inappropriate’

Two Chelsea players, Ann-Katrin Berger (left) and Jess Carter (right), are currently dating each other, and Hayes later admitted her comments were wrong

Two Chelsea players, Ann-Katrin Berger (left) and Jess Carter (right), are currently dating each other, and Hayes later admitted her comments were wrong

‘It is common sense. We all know that if we are in this environment, that is really inappropriate. I think if we all take our responsibility, then things wouldn’t happen.

‘But when it happens too often, then you need regulation. I’ll leave that up to other ones. I just hope in every environment I work in, in how we work and we always talk about safe environments, this is one of the things that should be really safe, that everyone’s really aware of the responsibility we have.’

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes also sparked controversy when she recently claimed that relationships between team-mates are ‘inappropriate’.

Blues defender Jess Carter dates Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, and liked tweets calling Hayes’ comments ‘beyond bonkers’, before Hayes later admitted that her remarks were wrong.

‘I didn’t think it was right for me to use the term inappropriate for the players,’ she said. ‘Nonetheless, when we have honest conversations about these things I don’t take those things back but I have zero criticism of any player in my dressing room for anything.

‘They’re professionalism, for what they’ve given to the club regardless of their status, regardless of who they’re in a relationship with. I’ve been unbelievably supportive of all of the players. I’ve been a champion for quality and equity. I think, sadly, this has become a topic that’s blown up in an unnecessary way.’



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