By Stuart Dick.
The Women’s Super League kicks off in less than two weeks, and after the addition of a second division to the competition, 18 teams will compete at the elite level of the Women’s game.
The Football Association has spent a lot of money making the Super League happen, to increase the profile of the sport in this country and allow elite female players to shine in the media limelight.
This is a triumph right? Well for the 2 per cent involved at the top of the game it is, but I believe the other 98 per cent have been forgotten about.
The FA Women’s Premier League, which a mere five years ago was the pinnacle of women’s football, is set to be integrated with the four women’s regional combination leagues across the country, and have its funding drastically cut.
Only a strongly-supported twitter campaign has saved the name of the FA Women’s Premier League, which was set to be scrapped when the FA’s ‘game changer’ initiative took full effect, forming a league which would have been known as the ‘Championship.’
Clubs which missed out on a FAWSL bid were now being told that they would no longer be Premier League teams and would face a drastic funding cut. 72 clubs will now share the measly sum of £90,000 per year. That’s £1,250 per club, whereas the likes of Manchester City, who were in the FAWPL just last year, will receive £70,000 alone.
Furthermore, Premier League clubs are banned from placing their players on contracts, meaning any Super League club can poach their players with just seven days’ notice, killing all growth at lower levels of the game.
They have also removed any chance of Premier League teams entering the Super League in the next five years, so no progression for the likes of Sheffield FC, Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth and Cardiff City at the top of the Women’s winter pyramid.
Instead of growing the women’s game (which the FA will try to remind you they’re doing again and again on twitter) they are killing it outside the elite level. In the FA’s eyes, there are only 18 teams who deserve to be supported, and have cast aside the rest.
Where do you feel the women’s game is headed? Are you excited about the upcoming WSL season? Should more be done to support football at a grassroots level?
You can read more from Stu here!