AFC Fylde job advert provokes social media backlash as candidates told not to apply if they want 'work-life balance' or 'need to pick up kids from school'

A job advert from AFC Fylde has provoked a backlash on social media after the club told candidates not to bother applying if they are looking for “a work life balance” or "have to pick the kids up from school".

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 8:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 5:48 pm

The advert for the club's General Manager role sparked a fierce backlash on social media, with some saying it appears to discriminate against working parents raising children.

The controversial ad - which appears to have been taken down - has been called 'disgusting', 'brazen' and 'discriminatory', with others say the ad "contains indirect sex discrimination".

The job description says: "You will need to be proactive in your approach to everything. We work hard at Fylde so again don't apply if you are looking for “a work life balance” or have to pick the kids up from school twice a week at 3.30.

AFC Fylde have sparked controversy by advertising a job vacancy specifically for candidates who don't need a "work-life balance". Pic: Getty

"This is a ”hands on role” and requires hands on leadership from the front so “delegators” and “office dwellers” please don't apply."

Fylde, who currently play in the sixth tier of English football, say the new General Manager - who will "work directly alongside the Director of Football" - must be a 'winner' and 'up for a challenge'.

But the job description has led to a backlash on social media, with some critics suggesting the Wesham-based club got the tone of the advert wrong.

"YEESH. It's like, hello, the 90s called. They want their job advert back. FFS," fumed one working Lancashire mum.

Whilst another person tweeted: "Totally disgusting job advert from AFC Fylde. What an awful place to work."

The club's own supporters have also expressed disappointment with the job post, with one fan saying: "If true, that is embarrassing for my club to be putting that in an advert."

And the ad has even prompted the chief executive of Citizens Advice Blackpool (CAB) to speak out against it, branding it “discriminatory.”

Tracy Hopkins, of Blackpool CAB said: "When local people are looking for jobs, adverts need to be inclusive and encourage them to make an application rather than set criteria that would put them off.”

"People ask me why I don't tweet certain jobs, here's an example...", quipped Sky Sports commentator Gary Taphouse.

"So glad the advert for the Fylde job is being treated with the contempt it deserves," tweeted employment solicitor Matt Barnes. "It's appalling. I'm sure there are good people involved and hopefully this leads to necessary changes."

AFC Fylde responded to our request for comment but only to say, "The Club does not wish to make any comment on this matter."

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What people are saying

"This is disgraceful," said Connor Shaw, the communications manager at League Two side Forest Green Rovers, whilst club CEO Henry Staelens tweeted AFC Fylde, asking them - "you been hacked? Or just openly promote discrimination?"

"Had to read it twice to make sure I was actually seeing what I am reading," said one former non-league footballer, adding, "How utterly bizarre and extremely disappointing... I hope there are 0 applicants and those in charge at the club change their attitude."

Another pundit said: "Just had to check this on the actual page myself to make sure it wasn't some weird troll - that is absolutely mental... @JobsInFootball how is that allowed on there?!"

“Every penny must be fought for” when your job advert in itself contains indirect sex discrimination from the outset!", said Villa fan James, who says the advert appears to discriminate against working mothers.

"Totally disgusting job advert from AFC Fylde. What an awful place to work," said Mark Parry, a Labour councillor from Wales.

"If whoever wrote this is willing to be so brazen, discriminatory and flippant in a public job advertisement, imagine what they'd be like to work for!", added Bolton Wanderers supporter James Derbyshire.

"That's a long day you should delegate more," said another Twitter user. "Oh hang on they don't like that at Fylde either! I think I see what they are trying to say but blimey how wrong could they get it. They definitely should have delegated the job advert writing."

What the job advert says

"We are seeking a General Manager to work directly alongside the Director of Football. These roles currently report directly into the Chairman and will do for the foreseeable future.

"While focussed on the general day to day running of the non footballing side of the club, the main emphasis will be on the commercial aspect of the role and developing the “Fylde Brand”.

"The successful candidate must, therefore, be able to demonstrate a successful track record in a similar role within the sporting and entertainment industry.

"Football experience, although an asset, is not a requirement but a fanatical eye for detail and the ability to write and implement a detailed strategic plan is!

"This is a ”hands on role” and requires hands on leadership from the front so “delegators” and “office dwellers” please don't apply.

"If not already apparent, we are not a Premiership Club and therefore every penny and every fan has to be fought for and respected."

"You will need to be proactive in your approach to everything. We work hard at Fylde so again don't apply if you are looking for “a work life balance” or have to pick the kids up from school twice a week at 3.30.

"You will need to live close to the club and immerse yourself in the local community at all levels.

"So, if you are a winner, up for a challenge and want to be part of a very special journey, then send your CV, covering letter and salary expectations to Shannon Sullivan at the below address."