Everyone was foreseeing it, but it has finally occurred…
The FA has decided to end immediately the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship 2019/20 seasons.
In a very recent statement, the FA said the decision came after “overwhelming feedback from clubs” and that it was made “in the best interest of the women’s game”.
“This will also enable clubs, the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship board and the FA to plan, prepare and focus on next season when football returns for the 2020/21 campaign,” the statement said.
Even if some parties involved were claiming why women’s football couldn’t return like their male counterpart, which is schedule to return in June, the FA has gone straight away with this decision. This will mean that all divisions of women’s football in the UK have been cancelled for the entire campaign.
Unfortunately, nothing else can’t be done as the decision has been taken already, however, doubts of who should win the respective league titles, and who should be relegated are a complete mystery. There were still 45 remaining fixtures in the WSL, while in the Championship, 36 games needed to be played.
Before Covid-19 stroked, Manchester City were top of the table when the season was suspended in March, although, 2nd-placed Chelsea had a game in hand on the leaders. As well, reigning WSL champions Arsenal were just three points behind, back in 3rd place. As that’s the case, final places in the Women’s Super League should be decided by an unweighted points-per-game ratio, as Chelsea would climb above City to go top (if the league actually recommenced).
Besides, the FA decision on cancelling the competition is only causing discomfort and confusing amongst all clubs, as there’s also the fact that two England’s representatives are still to be confirmed to take part in next season’s Women’s Champions League. But, other clubs like Liverpool are wondering at home whether or not they will be relegated.
Liverpool said they believed they “would have been able to meet the operational and financial obligations associated with a return to play, once detailed drafts and accurate protocols had been shared with clubs”, however, the club said they now “await an equitable solution to those issues still to be decided in a campaign where a third of our league games were still to be played”.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are six points clear of Sheffield United at the top of the second-tier Championship, waiting to see if they claim a spot for the WSL next season.
It’s also understood no decision has yet been made regarding the conclusion of the Women’s FA Cup, which had reached the quarter-final stage before March’s suspension of elite football in England.
In the end, even if they say “the health and safety of the players, staff and supporters remains the priority at all times“, why the men’s leagues haven’t been cancelled as well? After all, this decision has shown the true colours of the FA and that will continue being controversial even after the pandemic is over.