At a special general meeting (SGM) Saturday 25 January called by the Women’s Premier League (WPL) with TheFA, SaveOurWPL.com reports it was decided the WPL would keep the Women’s Premier League title.
The WPL is the top level of playing merit based progression in women’s football which originates from the Women’s Football Association 1991 National League.
TheFA further committed to look into the matter of promotion and relegation between the WSL (Women’s Super League) and the WPL as an urgent priority.
From the beginning the WSL was a closed league created on a franchise monetary basis by TheFA and not on playing merit, thus some of the best playing women’s clubs were excluded. There was no means of promotion or relegation included in the structure.
At the meeting it is reported The FA stated their ‘long term aspiration is to have a single pyramid for women’s football’. It is not clear why TheFA set out to break up the existing long standing women’s football pyramid instead of simply improving support for the broader women’s game, which is already responsible for the bulk of grass roots development.
One of the problems faced is the WSL is a summer league only, while the WPL is a traditional winter league like the rest of football, if teams are to be promoted and relegated between the WSL and WPL, there would be a seasons wait with no where to play for affected clubs.
While the WPL is the long standing top level based on playing merit and the WSL simply franchise based with member clubs drawn from the WPL solely by TheFA’s invitation, the WSL could not be more than equal to the WPL in merit terms. Not being merit based, the WSL may not meet UEFA criteria which mandates licensed clubs must achieve position on playing merit. A conundrum.