AFC Fylde are facing more questions over their safeguarding of women after it emerged that young female physios on internships at the club have been asked to provide personal treatment to manager James Rowe this season without being informed of the serious allegations against him.
Sportsmail revealed that Rowe left Chesterfield in February after being accused of sexual indecency, but was appointed by Fylde the following month without the club seeking references from his former employers.
Rowe is understood to deny all the allegations but declined to comment when contacted by Sportsmail.
Chesterfield were so concerned by Rowe’s swift return to the dugout that they wrote a ‘letter of concern’ to the FA warning that he ‘posed a potential danger to women’, a revelation which caused shockwaves among staff at Fylde on Thursday.
Sportsmail has learned that numerous Fylde employees are unhappy at not being told about the allegations against Rowe from his time at Chesterfield, particularly as the club employ a number of young women and interns.
Fylde’s medical department offer internships to students at local universities and several student physios are understood to have treated Rowe this season.
AFC Fylde’s female physios on internships were asked to provide treatment for James Rowe
A club source told Sportsmail: ‘Female physios have been left to treat the manager without knowing the allegations against him.
‘Football clubs have a habit of looking the other way but this is just wrong. They have a duty of care, but have potentially put workers and volunteers at risk.’
Women in Football chief executive Yvonne Harrison added: ‘It is concerning to hear that James Rowe was appointed by AFC Fylde while investigations are ongoing into serious allegations of misconduct made against him during his time at Chesterfield.
‘We extend our support to the employees of AFC Fylde.’
The club appointed Rowe as their manager without seeking references from past employers
Rowe is accused of exposing himself to a woman, but is understood to deny the allegations
Sources at Fylde insist they did attempt to speak to Chesterfield about Rowe before appointing him, but claim the National League club refused to engage with them on the grounds that they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with their former manager before his departure.
Fylde are also facing criticism from supporters for failing to respond to complaints about an individual on the sex offenders register, George Reed, regularly attending matches at the club.
Reed was jailed for two-and-a-half years for sexual offences against two female minors in 2007.
A delegation of Fylde fans are understood to have approached the club asking them to ban Reed earlier this season, with Community Foundation chairman Phil Humphreys declining to take any action.
Fylde declined to comment on Thursday night.
Sportsmail revealed Rowe left Chesterfield this year after being accused of sexual indecency