Birmingham boss Ward calls on club to invest in women's side as squad battles to stay in the WSL

CARLA WARD is urging Birmingham City's owners to invest in their women's team or make way for others who will, according to reports.

The Daily Mail claims Ward wants the club to ramp up their support for Blues' WSL outfit which she believes will be vital for her side's future.

Ward, 37 said: "It's do or die, support and kick on or make way for others clubs who want to invest."

And her impassioned plea comes ahead of her tenth-placed side's derbywith Aston Villa who are eleventh and second from bottom.

It also comes just weeks after her first team players wrote to their board slamming conditions and facilities provided for the women's team.

The Birmingham chief revealed she is fully supported by her squad and that she is currently the only full-time coaching member of staff for her side.

The letter from her team to the club's most senior officials received overwhelming backing from several WSL stars.

And Ward is reported to have been brought in to mediate between the board members and players.

Ward added: "The letter's probably five per cent of how they felt and I supported it.

"I'm the only full-time member of technical staff, which is unheard of in the WSL."

One positive to have emerged from the letter is that the club have pledged to move the team's games to St Andrew's next term should they win their fight to stay in the WSL.

But this small step is not enough for Ward who believes she is facing an uphill struggle at present.

Both Birmingham's men's and women's teams have been pushing to maintain their places within their respective divisions.

The Blues women's side have been a mainstay in the Women's Super League since its creation in 2011 and qualified for a Champions League place in the 2012-13 season.

And now Lee Bowyer's squad have secured their spot in the EFL ahead of next term, Ward is determined to see her players beat the drop.

But as soon as that task is completed, the former Sheffield United Women's boss aims to have a sit-down with the club's owners to get clear answers on their future plans.

Ward continued: "I think ultimately nothing is going to happen overnight.

"Now the men are safe that will help, I imagine.

"We would like to think once we're safe too, we'll get clear answers, move forward and have discussions. I'm up for a fight but not for the impossible."

Another reason Ward wants more from the club's owners is due to an historic TV deal the WSL signed the BBC and Sky Sports, which she reckons will be 'huge' for the women's game

The Birmingham boss reckons WSL sides will need to be at their best with games being shown on the biggest platform.

And Ward hopes clubs in the league provide their women's teams with the necessary tools to succeed.

Ward added: "It will be huge next season. And this is why football clubs have to get it right.

"Because we're going live to the nation, on the biggest platform you could possibly ask for.

"For anyone who stays in the WSL this year I would say, take this seriously, make sure you've got the right staffing.

"Make sure you've got the right players, really support your women, because it's going to be global and an opportunity not to be missed."

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