The FA has approved a new one-tier, full-time structure for the WSL, starting next year with the 2018/19 season.
According to the BBC, only clubs that employ their players on a full-time basis will be allowed in the new top tier, and all clubs will have to apply for a license for the new season.
A club like Arsenal should have no problem with this, as a fully established WSL club with full-time players, as well as already having a development team (another requirement under the new criteria).
However, other teams who have made it to the top level entirely on the merits of their sporting performance, may now be excluded based on off-pitch factors. One high-profile case is that of Yeovil Town Ladies. The Lady Glovers have no professional players, no academy system, and only achieved promotion last year.
So, despite playing their way into the top flight, Yeovil now reportedly need to raise more than £350,000 just to stay in it, regardless of how they perform in the current campaign.
The WSL becoming a full-time professional league should be a positive step for the women’s game in this country in the long run. Players can fully focus on football, becoming better players, and that should generate more interest and more money for the game.
But if the method of achieving this aim is to throw out clubs who can’t afford it, rather than helping them to do so, then that seems to me like the wrong way to go about it.