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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 18:01 UK

Leeds women change name of club

By Tony Leighton

Women's football

Leeds United women's team have changed their name to Leeds Carnegie Ladies FC.

The move has come about after Leeds United cut off their funding to the women's team.

The Elland Road outfit also threatened them with legal action if they did not stop using the word 'United' in their name.

That threat was lifted, but the club's chairperson, Melanie Vauvelle-Don, said: "The men's club suggested (we should) change our name."

She added: "They put restrictions on our use of club branding and in commercial activities if we wanted to retain the name.

"That would have cost us 20,000 just to re-brand our playing kit and training gear, and it would also have made it difficult to attract new sponsors.

"So what we've done is enhance the partnership we started with Leeds Metropolitan University last year, and changing our club name is just part of that."

The club's aim now will be to improve on last season's best-ever performance, a third-place finish in the Women's Premier League and runners-up to Arsenal in the FA Cup.

To that end two strikers have already been signed, England Under-23 international Carla Cantrell - a Carnegie student - arriving from Doncaster Belles and England U-19 star Ellen White from Chelsea.

Vauvelle-Don said: "At the moment there's still a big gulf between us and Arsenal, but if our partnership with Leeds Met develops as it has in the last 12 months then I believe we can close the gap.

"Our link with Leeds United is now finished, but we do wish the men's club all the best for the future."

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