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Women's Football News
Charlton Athletic have made the shock announcement that they have disbanded their women's team.
The entire women's section of the football club, which includes the Academy and Centre of Excellence, are to be shut down with immediate effect.
The decision has been made as part of cost-cutting measures following the Addicks' relegation from the Premiership last season.
Charlton Athletic took over the successful Croydon Ladies back in 2000 and under the managership of Keith Boanas, who will leave the club along with the other staff involved in the women's section, established themselves as one of the major teams in the country.
"I'm devastated for the players and the many young girls who have had their dreams and aspirations shattered," he told Tony Leighton of BBC Sport. "I've been phoning round the players and some of them are in tears."
Charlton twice won the Premier League Cup and captured the F.A.Women's Cup in 2005, Eniola Aluko giving them a 1-0 victory over Everton in the Final at Upton Park. In 2003-04, they came agonisingly close to being crowned Premier League Champions before being overtaken by Arsenal in the last match of the season. They remain the last team to beat Arsenal in a Premier League match.
Only last month they took on Arsenal in the F.A.Women's Cup Final and briefly led before losing 4-1 in front of a record crowd at Nottingham Forest. They also came close to qualifying for the UEFA Women's Cup for the first time after finishing just two points behind runners-up Everton.
Charlton are the second club to withdraw its backing of their women's team this month, following on from Bristol City whose future remains in the balance.
The withdrawal of Charlton will mean that the National Division will compete with 11 clubs this season and marks a sad day for women's football, with the loss of one of its major teams.
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