Now that the FA has announced the end of the 2019/20 season, it is time to look forward to 2020/21 with a start date set for September 6, but The FA made a number of poor decisions when they ended this season.
The following teams will compete in women’s football top two tiers:
FA Women Super League (12 teams)
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Brighton and Howe, Bristol City, Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Reading, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham.
FA Women Championship (11 teams)
Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Coventry United, Crystal Palace, Durham, Leicester City, Lewes, Liverpool, London Bees, London City Lionesses, Sheffield United.
The FA’s decision to separate the top two tiers from the rest of the women’s football pyramid is really bad. They decided to null and void Tier 3 and below back in March, but went for PPG for Tiers 1 & 2 which was the correct choice in my opinion, but it means the FA voided promotion/relegation between the Championship and the FA Women National League and all leagues below.
It was supposed to be the first season since the FA WSL2, now renamed FA WC with relegation to the third tier. One team was supposed to go down and two teams were supposed to come up: the FA WNL Northern and Southern Division winners.
As a result, the FA Women’s Championship will have only 11 teams next season.
This is poor in terms of scheduling, a recurring theme in women’s football, as it leaves big holes with teams sometimes going weeks between games. Because promotion from the FA WNL has been refused by the FA, they should really think of reopening licensing for at least one place to make it an even number and go to 12.
I actually think the FA should open three slots in the Championship to make up to 14. After all, two teams should have come up from the FA WNL and have been unjustly deprived of the chance to play at Championship level.
Also, there are teams at level Tier 4 and 5 that are ambitious and could bid for a FA WC license. They have the financial backing from their parents club to make it.
Then comes the elephant in the room.
What happens if one of the team folds?
The economical landscape is grim and many football clubs are running at a loss. Hopefully, parents club won’t cut the funding to their women’s side, but history has showed us time and time again how often that happens when cuts need to be made.
Will the FA be prepared to re-open licensing?
We are three months away from the competition start date and many things can happen off the pitch before the season kicks off.
Let’s hope all teams will have sufficient funding and that all the players out of contract this summer can find a new home.