The FA have announced that the team that will replace Notts County Ladies are Everton Ladies and it is not a real surprise.
The FA WSL 1 next season will have the following 10 teams: Arsenal, Birmingham, Bristol, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Reading, Sunderland and Yeovil.
It means there was a triple promotion from the 2016 season with one relegated team – Doncaster Belles.
The FA WSL2 will also have 10 teams: Aston Villa, Brighton, Doncaster, Durham, London Bees, Millwall, Oxford, Sheffield, Tottenham and Watford.
The FA in their statement said that Everton have been elected to FA WSL1. This is to show that it is an off-the-pitch promotion on business criteria and not because they won the FA WSL 2 Spring Series or finished third in the 2016 season.
Everton were probably the richest FA WSL 2 team in 2016 and probably richer than certain FA WSL 1 teams.
Doncaster also applied and they can appeal the decision.
They said in their statement that they will concentrate on promotion on the pitch. But licenses for the 2018/19 season will be assessed in December 2017. So we have to wonder if on-the-pitch or off-the-pitch criteria will decide on promotion and relegation.