FA preparing for possibility top women’s teams will fold because of coronavirus | Football

The Football Association is preparing for the possibility that teams in the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship could fold under the financial pressures placed on them by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian understands that when club representatives from the top two divisions hold a conference call with the FA on Friday they will discuss the possibility of inviting teams from lower down the pyramid to apply for Women’s Championship licences should the leagues become imbalanced.

The FA is desperate for the WSL and Championship seasons to be completed and, should all teams survive to at the very least see out the campaign, the governing body would face a choice if a top-division club then folds as to whether to reopen licences for the WSL or promote further from the top of the Championship.

There will be no promotion from or relegation to the third-tier Women’s National League, after the FA voided the league seasons from tiers three to seven of the women’s pyramid.

A licensing system was used to select teams for the Women’s Super League when it launched as the replacement for the Women’s Premier League in 2011. Similarly, before the 2018-19 season clubs had to apply to enter the newly professional top tier and semi-professional Championship. This was to ensure they could meet the financial and logistical demands.

Attempts are being made to limit the financial damage to clubs, with a decision on the fate of the WSL and Championship seasons to follow further consultation.

The cancellation of the leagues from tiers three to seven was made in the “best interests of the game” and with the primary concern “the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time”, according to an FA statement. It added: “Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period.”

Some teams will feel hard done by. Sunderland, who failed to meet the criteria for a place in the Championship in 2018, are 11 points clear at the top of the WNL Northern Division, and Crawley Wasps are nine points ahead of second-placed Watford in the Southern Division.

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Written by sortiwa

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