Women's Sport: New proposal could see the WSL season finished in six weeks

The FA is considering the possibility of playing the conclusion of the Women’s Super League season at neutral venues.

Due to two-weeks international break before the league suspension, the WSL has not seen any games played since late February. This has meant that there is a large backlog of fixtures to get through.

Even though The FA will continue to take advice from the Government advice on when the country will start to reopen, it doesn’t look likely that this is going to happen before May due to the three weeks of extension. 

The FA is understood to want the top women’s divisions next steps to be in line with any decisions made by the Premier League along with guidelines from Uefa, with the top two WSL teams set to qualify for the Women’s Champions League.

With possible flexibility around the proposed restart start in June, the WSL is understood to have two main options remaining as the most likely.

Tiers three to seven of the women’s pyramid in England was formally declared null and void in April after the lockdown. The top two tiers could follow suit depending on the government health advice given going forward. 

Concluding the top-tier campaign could look something like this if the earliest possible date of 6-7 June can be used, this is what it could involve:

  • Players resuming full training in the final week of May
  • All teams being based at a central hub like St George’s Park, Burton-upon-Trent
  • Matches could recommence from the weekend of 6-7 June, behind closed doors
  • WSL teams would play two matches per week for the following six weeks
  • That timeframe would see the campaign conclude by the weekend of 18-19 July

An FA spokesperson said in a statement to the BBC: “We are in the early stages of assessing what options are available for when it is safe and appropriate to resume the FA WSL and FA WC seasons. This includes the potential use of neutral venues.

“Any scenarios are under constant review in line with the latest Government advice. We are in regular contact with all clubs and the safety and welfare of everybody involved remains our priority.”

Manchester City is on top of the WSL table, while the Women’s FA Cup has reached the quarter-final stage.

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