VIDEO: Protest held to fight relegation of Doncaster Belles

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Mayor Ros Jones was on hand to help a protest against the FA’s relegation of Doncaster Rovers Belles - after one league game.

The club are the only ever-presents in women’s top flight football but, following an application process, Belles have been demoted to the second tier of the new-look Women’s Super League next year - WSL2.

Protest in support of Doncaster Rovers Belles in the Frenchgate Centre. Photo: Kevin Neagle

Protest in support of Doncaster Rovers Belles in the Frenchgate Centre. Photo: Kevin Neagle

Despite numerous requests, the FA refuses to comment until the ‘final phase’ of the application is complete which is likely to be in the next couple of weeks.

Devastated supporters of Doncaster’s pioneering club have taken to social networking sites to air their disappointment.

Fans also held a protest inside the Frenchgate Centre - where the FA Cup trophy was on display to promote Sunday’s final at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Armed with bells, banners and leaflets, the protesting group included the mayor, town crier Henry Cryer and coun John McHale.

Mayor Jones said: “This is very disappointing news and I don’t understand why the FA have made this decision one game into the season and on what grounds.

“The FA need to provide answers and demonstrate that their process and criteria are open and transparent.

“The Belles have been in the top flight of professional women’s football throughout its history and if this isn’t to be the case Doncaster needs answers.”

Protester Sarah Maye added: “I can’t just sit and do nothing it is just wrong. All I, and so many others ask for, is transparency. Our girls deserve better.”

A petition set up by football fans has seen well over 5,000 signatures penned.

Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller has also been heavily involved in offering her support.

Belles have appealed against the decision.

Sign the petition: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/doncasterbelles

• For more on the Belles, see this week’s Doncaster Free Press.