Birmingham City Women's Football Club are a team who currently play their fixtures at the Sportnation.bet Stadium, home to National League outfit Solihull Moors. They play in the Women's Super League, the top flight of women's football in the United Kingdom.
Birmingham City Women's Football Club were founded as Birmingham City Women in 1968, exclusively playing friendlies until 1970. They then joined the Heart of England League and were involved in its restructure to become the West Midland Regional League in 1974. The club underwent something of a golden age at this time, picking up five league titles between 1971 and 1989.
The Academy was created in the 1990's to combat financial troubles and issues at a boardroom level. This system is still in place today and has produced many first team players, including current captain Kerys Harrop and England international Laura Bassett.
As their financial situation stabilised, the club began to see greater success on the pitch. The Blues won the inaugural season of the Midland Combination League in the 1998/99 season and were promoted to the top flight, then called the FA Women's Premier League, after two seasons in the second tier. The club also saw success in the cup competitions, despite not being a full time professional club. They reached the final of the FA Women's Premier League Cup in 2002, upsetting other professional clubs along the way, before eventually losing that final to Fulham.
The Blues have had a history of proving people wrong about them, including their own local media. In 2003, a local reporter by the name of Gary Newbon bet the club £500 that they couldn't attract 500 fans to attend an upcoming match against Doncaster Belles. Needless to say, Newbon lost the bet.
However, despite its impressive strides on the pitch, the club was plunged into financial trouble in 2005 after Birmingham City executive Karen Brady withdrew financial support. Manager Marcus Bignot resigned after seven years of success and key players, including Alex Scott, were all forced to leave. A £10,000 donation from a player's parents was needed to keep the club afloat.
The Blues began a rebuild in 2008 with a move to Stratford upon Avon. In 2010, the club was successful in an application to be admitted as a founder member of the Women's Super League after Birmingham City reinstated financial support. Birmingham enjoyed a successful first WSL season in 2011, but suffered heartbreak along the way. After signing several high-profile players in 2010, they topped the league for much of the season before giving way to Arsenal. In a cruel twist of fate, the club also lost the Continental Cup Final to the Gunners in the same season. Despite the setback of losing the league and cup, Blues' Rachel Williams still won Player of the Year and Birmingham qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Women's Champions League.
In May 2012, Birmingham beat Chelsea on penalties to lift their first ever Women's FA Cup at Ashton Gate. Another 2nd place league finish qualified them for the 2013-14 UEFA Women's Champions League, which the Blues exited in the semi finals.
Following its success on the domestic and European stage, the club announced in 2014 that it would be moving closer to home and began playing at Damson Park, now the SportNation.bet Stadium. In 2016, the club was fully integrated into Birmingham City FC. However, manager David Parker resigned in 2017 and was replaced by Academy manager Marc Skinner.
The club renamed itself from Birmingham City Ladies to Birmingham City Women in 2018, Marc Skinner departed the Blues for America in 2019 and was replaced by Marta Tejedor, who left her post on March 3rd 2020. Charlie Baxter is currently interim head coach as of 17th March 2020.
The club played at the home of Redditch United, the Valley Stadium, until 2005. They had a nine year stint at Stratford Town's DCS Stadium before their move to Solihull in 2014.
Their current stadium, the SportNation.bet Stadium, has a 3,050 capacity with 770 seats and plays host to Solihull Moors.
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The club's academy, known as the Regional Talent Club, is regarded as the best of its kind in the Midlands. As it is the only Tier One talent centre in the Midlands, many top players are produced and attracted to the club. Other graduates have included Karen Carney CBE, current first team goalkeeper Hannah Hampton as well as Charlie Wellings. The Regional Talent Club takes in girls aged between eight and 16.
Birmingham also keep close ties with local girls clubs through their Sister Club Programme. This encompasses teams from across the Midlands, from Lichfield City FC to Wyre Forest Phoenix FC. As of 17th March 2020, there are 22 clubs signed up to the programme.