The FA has decided to end the summer League seasons for the FA WSL and will go back to a winter season from 2017.
When the FA started the FA WSL back in 2011, a summer season was selected as one of the ways to avoid competing with men’s football but in the six seasons played there has always been a summer break rendering the notion about playing when men’s football is not on useless.
It is quite clear that the FA failed to organise a proper schedule in all six seasons – an amazing feat – and created a mess every year for clubs to navigate around.
As the FA has been putting a lot of money in the League, the schedule has always been planned to favour the England team ahead of club sides, so it is strange to make the move to a winter league to help England.
With the new format starting in September 2017, a one-off, transitional competition, known as the FA WSL Spring Series, will run from February to June in 2017, alongside the Women’s FA Cup, as part of the changes.
The FA has also revealed the WSL will take a one-month winter break from mid-December 2017 to mid-January 2018.
The Women’s Premier League divisions – which include the third tier of women’s football and below – are already played over the winter.
The WSL had planned to expand to 20 clubs by 2017, with no teams being relegated from WSL 2 to the WPL. That will continue, to 21 teams by 2017-18. Relegation to the FA WPL will be introduced in 2017/18 apparently.
I think it is a great decision as the summer season was a failed experiment. Aligning the whole women’s football pyramid also makes sense. You really wonder why the FA pushed for summer football, it really looked like a gimmick at the time.
I am looking forward to cold midweek games in empty grounds like in the old times, it will make women’s football more enjoyable by going back to its roots.