Imagine a football world where your place in the top league is decided by your pitch facilities, marketing and budget size, not on the football results. Welcome to the FA WSL.
You can imagine the level of public outcry had the same thing happened in Men’s football, but because it is Women’s football the Football Association can get away with it.
It does beggar belief that the FA have moved the goalposts again at the beginning of the season, having just changed the league from a summer to the traditional winter campaign.
For those who don’t follow Women’s football closely, the elite Women’s football league in England (FA WSL 1) is a mix of full-time professional teams. It’s a collective of teams that train on daily basis with players with outside activities and semi-pro teams that train three times a week in the evenings.
The Football Association decided that now is the time to have an Elite League with full-time teams only and a minimum budget increasing from £400k to £500k the following year.
As a result, two FA WSL 1 teams are at risk of losing their licence which will result in them being demoted to the soon-to-be named Tier 2 – as the FA WSL 2 name is going to disappear.
Sunderland reverted during the winter to the semi-professional model, and considering the financial situation of the parent team, it would be a big surprise to see funding become available to go back to a full-time professional team.
The other team in danger of being demoted is Yeovil Town who are making a lot of noise and are desperate to find the 350k needed to reach the minimum budget requested by the FA. They have resorted to Crowdfunding to gather that amount of money.
— Yeovil Town Ladies FC (@YeovilLadiesFC) October 8, 2017
I don’t think there are strong enough words to express the disgust the towards the FA for pushing a club to go to such an extreme action. I mean, they won the right on the pitch to play at the at the highest level and now they are being treated as a small and poor club that should not be invited to the rich clubs’ table.
The idea of having a league of full-time professional teams is the right one, but doing it by kicking out teams without enough money, and inviting teams from Tier 2,3,4 and below to take their place is just….
And if ever a team gets the FA WSL 1 licence for 2018/19, while they currently have no Women adult team, it will be the clearest indication that the FA has sold the soul of Women’s football to the devil.