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Leicester City women’s team manager Willie Kirk has been sacked after the club investigated an allegation that he had a relationship with a player.

Leicester have said their investigation concluded that Kirk “breached the team’s code of conduct to a degree which makes his position untenable”. Kirk has been approached for a comment.

The 45-year-old Scot had been suspended since March 8, when news first emerged of the allegation against him, less than 24 hours before the East Midlands team’s Women’s FA Cup quarter-final away at Liverpool, which they subsequently won 2-0.

The former Bristol City, Everton and Hibernian manager, who has also previously worked as the assistant manager at Manchester United, had been in charge at Leicester since November 2022. Last season he oversaw Leicester’s escape from relegation from the WSL, lifting them from the foot of the table to survival in the top flight.

His sacking comes under two months after Sheffield United dismissed their former women’s team manager Jonathan Morgan when he admitted to having had a relationship with a player while previously managing Leicester, who was in her teens at the time.

Since Morgan’s removal, Telegraph Sport has been made aware of at least 36 other cases where coaches active in the top six divisions of the English women’s league pyramid in the past three years are alleged to have been in relationships with players.

In a statement on Thursday evening regarding Kirk’s departure, Leicester said: “Leicester City Football Club can confirm that Willie Kirk has been dismissed from his position as LCFC Women Manager.
 
“Following an extensive internal disciplinary process and respecting the Club’s obligations to individual privacy, Willie was determined to have breached the team’s code of conduct to a degree that makes his position untenable.
 
“Established and implemented ahead of the start of the current season, the code forms part of the Club’s ongoing commitment to professionalising the women’s game since the takeover of LCFC Women in 2020, promoting a performance-led culture among players, coaches and technical staff.
 
“First-team responsibilities for LCFC Women will continue to be led by Jennifer Foster, supported by Stephen Kirby, while the Club begins the process of appointing a new permanent manager.”

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