A female football coach has launched legal proceedings against a Scottish club, claiming it refused to pay her after she raised concerns about support offered to the women’s team.

Lauren Rabbitte, who has played in the US and in the UK, says she was “proactively approached” by the unnamed club last year and accepted a full-time salaried position as head of women’s and girls’ football.

In a statement she said she was unable to “discuss the specifics of my circumstances” while the legal process is ongoing.

She said that when her concerns were not “fully addressed” she escalated them to Scottish Women’s Football (SWF).

She claims the disclosure effectively led to constructive dismissal. She says she was told not to speak on the club’s behalf, not to engage with players and was referred to as “a volunteer” and says the club also failed to pay her for 600 hours of work.

Ms Rabbitte launched a crowdfunder to finance an employment tribunal against the club and a three day hearing is now scheduled.

At the time of writing she had received almost £2000 towards her £2,500 target.

She said: “As a former female footballer, experienced coach and academy manager, I love football and have a passion for supporting girls’ and women’s progress within the sport.

“Women’s football is riding high at the moment. 

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“We are at a critical momen t for the sport, one that requires commitment, investment and public awareness to continue to drive participation and success at every level of the game.

“Women’s football is not just about those who play. The foundations of the women’s game consists of men and women working and supporting clubs all around Scotland.

“I cannot discuss the specifics of my circumstances because legal process must take its course.

“Women’s Football has the support and fans to succeed. I want to make sure that those who are involved in it are treated with fairness and equality.”

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Ms Rabbitte was with Clyde from September 2021 until March this year.
Clyde Ladies came under the wing of the Clyde FC Community Foundation in 2019, but folded in March when David Goodwillie returned to the club.

They were one of three Championship South sides to withdraw from that league last season.

The return of Goodwillie, who was ruled in a civil court to have raped a woman, was cited as the reason for the players walking away.

At the time of her departure Ms Rabitte said: “My ambition was to build a successful and sustainable women’s and girls’ 
programme in line with the club’s vision to recruit and develop players.

“In recent months I have worked tirelessly to implement huge changes at the football club, during which, talented players were developed. I would like to thank the players and  backroom team who did support me during my time at the club.”

Goodwillie, 32, was ordered to pay £100,000 in damages by a judge after it was ruled he raped a woman in a flat in West Lothian in 2011.

The club’s director Andy Allan also stood down from his role following Goodwillie’s return.

North Lanarkshire Council informed the club that it did not intend to renew their agreement to allow Clyde use of the stadium after its expiry in 2023.