It has been announced that Sunderland AFC Ladies will return to part-time status ahead of the new Women's Super League season.
Reverting back to the old model
The Black Cats ladies side have proven a success over the last few seasons, finishing fourth and seventh respectively with a mixture of both full-time and part-time players.
However it was announced that Carlton Fairweather's side will return to full part-time set-up, ahead of the new Super League season in September with the competitions move from summer to winter.
"After three years of operating a structure consisting of both full and part-time players," the statement read. "Sunderland AFC Ladies is to revert to its previously successful part-time model."
"Over recent months, and after significant reviewing and analysis," it stated. "It has become apparent that having a mix of full-time and part-time players was not working as effectively as the club, and indeed the players, had envisaged."
"With a number of the current squad committed to careers or study," it continued. "Full-time football careers were not an option for them and Sunderland AFC Ladies is keen to retain the services of these long-standing players."
The statement concluded: "It will also allow the coaching staff to have more structured training schedules and improved match preparation for the squad as a whole."
Looking at every aspect
This move is one of the many changes expected at the Stadium of Light, with chief executive Martin Bain giving his view on the announcement.
"We are reviewing the operation of every aspect of the football club," he said. "As we aim to improve, both on and off the field."
"Our support for women's football remains," Bain concluded. "We believe that at the present time this structure is a more effective way forward for all of us."
Sunderland AFC will take on Stoke City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, January 14 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.