Doncaster Rovers Belles’ controversial demotion from the women’s top flight stopped the club from going out of business, according to Carl Lygo.
Belles were ‘relegated’ to FAWSL2 in 2013 after the Football Association ruled that the club no longer met the licensing requirements for the top division.
Belles commercial director Lygo said: “After the FA’s decision to effectively relegate Doncaster Belles, I answered the call for local businesses to come and help save the Belles.
“The starting point was to bring back to the club the people that had raised the club up to such a high standard in the beginning, and it’s really given the club back to the volunteers and the people that really care about it.
“The Belles is a community interest club which means it is owned by its fans and that model has transformed the way we operate.
“The club was facing going out of business and going into liquidation so really it was relegation that saved the Belles.
“If we hadn’t have had this call for people to come forward and save the Belles we would have lost this great relic of the women’s game.”
He added: “We started a ten-year plan so we’re into year two.
“We aim to be the best women’s football team yet again.
“We’ve been at that point and we want to get there again, winning titles and playing in Europe.
“It’s going to take time but we’re confident we can get there.”
Doncaster-born Lygo is a barrister, vice-chancellor of BPP University and CEO of BPP Holdings Ltd, sponsors of the Belles.