#FAWSL: Hope still held out for completing 2019-20 campaign

Kelly Simmons
Pictured – Kelly Simmons. (Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA)

The 2019-20 season for Tiers 3 to 7 has today been confirmed as ended, while their remains determination to complete the Barclays FA WSL and FA Women’s Championship campaigns.

The FA’s director of the women’s professional game, Kelly Simmons, wrote about the impact of COVID-19 on the women’s game on thefa,com:

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to update you when football will be back in our stadiums, on our TVs, in our parks, or how the 2019-20 season will be finished for the Barclays FA WSL and the FA Women’s Championship. During this uncertain period for the country it would be wrong for me to speculate on the answers to these questions. However, I can confirm that we are doing everything we can to plan for the return of football, once it is safe to do so. We all know that football will return, but for now, safety and welfare remains our primary concern

This is unchartered territory and it is my responsibility, alongside that of my team, to get the women’s domestic leagues and competitions back on track when the medical guidance allows us to do so.

The Leagues in Tiers 3 to 7 have already had to make some tough decisions, ending the 2019/20 seasons. FA Women’s Board members and the Women’s Football Conference [representatives of all the leagues in the women’s pyramid] were consulted and reached a consensus, supported by 100 per cent of the league representatives. With some clubs playing less than 50 per cent of games, a formula to decide promotion and relegation across the pyramid was deemed unfair. It was a very difficult decision for all involved, however it was made with the game’s best interest at heart.

Today we have seen The FA Council ratify their decision, which will give the clubs and the leagues the clarity and understanding that many of them were after. This is the right decision for the leagues and their clubs, and they can now focus positively on planning for the 2020-21 season.

The top two tiers of the women’s football pyramid have decided to indefinitely postpone their 2019-20 season to see if the remaining games can be played.

Therefore, we are determined to finish the Barclays FA WSL, FA Women’s Championship seasons and the Women’s FA Cup in the most appropriate way and it is UEFA’s intention to not only see all federations across Europe complete this season’s professional football but to also complete the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

I recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for the clubs at all levels of our game and we’re doing all we can to provide them with support and guidance to get through this period of uncertainty. The implications for clubs and players are far reaching, player contracts and registrations, transfer window dates, off season and pre-season all remain uncertain. But I can assure you that we are working hard internally and with key stakeholders to find the solutions across all of these areas.

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