The FA Board have finally returned a verdict on the FA WSL and the Championship with all rankings decided by PPG (points per game) and Arsenal finishing third, but they can still get into the Champions League – if they win it.
It means Chelsea are champions and deservedly so as they are unbeaten this season.
Manchester City are runners-up while Arsenal finish third, outside the Champions League places.
Liverpool are relegated to the Championship and Aston Villa are promoted the FA WSL.
There are, of course, fans unhappy that the PPG solution has been used to determine placing, but the reality is there is no magical mathematical formula that would keep all 12 teams happy.
Obviously, the best solution would be to resume the season but logistical difficulties prevented this from happening and, as Danielle van de Donk admitted, there just wasn’t the money available to test players and staff in order to facilitate finishing the season.
Regarding Arsenal finishing third, I believe this is a fair reflection of the season so far. I mean, we only got three points out of 12 against Chelsea and City. That really says it all. Arsenal were simply not good enough and being behind those two teams in the table is a fair result.
Nevertheless, Arsenal can still qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League alongside Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Gunners just need to win the 2019/20 tournament.
The Champions League is currently on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is likely to restart later in the summer.
We are at the quarter-finals stage with Arsenal still to play French side PSG. Should they win that tie then they would face Lyon, the title holders in the semi final, or FC Bayern. On the other side of the draw, it is the Scottish Champions, Glasgow City against the German giants Wolfsburg. The Spanish duel between Athletico Madrid and Barcelona is the remaining quarter-final.
The expectations of the press abroad is that the women’s Champions League will resume as one-off ties, played at the same venue in the same way the men tournament’s tournament is likely to return – as a straight, one-game, knock-out tournament.
The UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Vienna, where the final was originally to take place, is one possible location. It is a given that UEFA will select a country where Covid-19 is no longer a threat.
Should the 2019/20 tournament be cancelled, Arsenal would have a case to ask UEFA to allow them to enter the next edition at the qualification round stage as cancellation would deprive them of a chance to qualify via a tournament win.
Currently, all teams still in the competition have already qualified for next season’s tournament except Arsenal, Wolfsburg and FC Bayern.
The Frauen-Bundesliga has restarted and, with four games to go, Wolfsburg need one point to qualify for next season. FC Bayern need eight points from a possible twelve, so could end up in the same situation as Arsenal.
The UEFA Executive Committee will take place on June 17 and 18 so we will know by that date where and when the tournament will restart.
It could mean a shorter pre-season than normal with the League set to restart on September 6.