FA WPL, FA WSL, FA WSL 2

The FA open the FA WSL licensing from 2018-19, analysis part 2

In part 2, I will speak about certain things that don’t make sense to me in the FA information published yesterday

This is part of the FA WPL 2016/17 regulations published by the FA  a few months ago

For Season 2016/17 the Champion Club as determined by the Championship Play-Off Final match outlined at paragraph (iv) will be promoted to FA WSL subject to eligibility and ability to meet FA WSL Licensing Criteria.”

Now if that promotion happens, the FA WSL2 would have 11 teams in 2017/18 and one team will be relegated as what is written below at the end of that season ? The wording from the FA is extremely confusing on that situation.1

Let’s rewind to the Spring Series, FA WSL 1 will have 10 teams and FA WSL 2 will have 10 teams.  Their season end in May 2017 for WSL 2 and early June 2017 for WSL 1. The FA WPL play-off should happen early May like in the previous seasons.

If the FA WPL play-off winner is promoted as per the regulations, the FA WSL 2 will have 11 teams in 2017/18. In the meantime, the promoted team won’t be in the running for a 2018/19 license, as there are 20 open and only to the current FA WSL teams with a deadline at the end of March 2017. Does this mean that team will automatically get relegated at the end of the 2017/18 season ?

But if we look at the BBC article about the changes, it seems promotion from the FA WPL won’t happen at the end of the 2016/17 season.

“There will be one relegation spot in WSL 2 from the end of the first winter season to drop out of the WSL.

One club will continue to be promoted from the WPL up to the second tier, via a play-off, each season, with the winners of the WPL Northern Division facing the Southern champions.

In between WSL 1 and WSL 2, one team will continue to be relegated each season, while one team will be promoted.

This one-up, one-down system throughout the top three tiers means there will a total of 20 teams in the WSL, with 10 teams in each division, bringing a halt to the WSL’s expansion, which started in 2014.”

Now, with promotion this season, if one team from the FA WSL 2 is relegated to the FA WPL at the end of 2017/18 and the FA WPL 2017/18 champion is promoted we would have 11 teams in FA WSL 2 comes the start of the 2018/19 season. 21 teams and 20 licenses only ?

And in the meantime one team that would have been given a 2018/19 license would lose it potentially to an unlicensed team for 2018/19, if the FA WPL 2016/17 champions stays up. Now if you give a license to a team and do not honor it, you open yourself to legal action or any kind of appeal imo.

The only way for the FA WSL 2 to stay at 10 teams is to have two relegation from FA WSL 2 to the FA WPL for one promotion at the end of the 2017/18 season  or, simply to cancel that article from the FA WPL rules and have no team promoted at the end of the  2016/17 season.

Now let’s have a look at the curious situations that could arise from the fact that the license for the season 2018/19 will be distributed prior to the season 2017/18 will be played on the pitch. It obviously means that on the pitch result are irrelevant after all for 2017/18.

1a from the situation above, one the 10 FA WSL 2 team gets a 2018/19 license, but is relegated at the end of the 2017/18 season on the pitch. It looks like on the pitch result would prevail. But then why grant a license to that team, if they are not guaranteed an access to FA WSL 2? Why not wait until the end of the 2017/18 season to attribute the licenses?

1b same case a below , the FA WSL 2 team is granted a FA WSL 1 license for 2018/19 and is relegated on the pitch at the end of the 2017/18 season. What takes precedence, the on the pitch or off the pitch results ?

2 a FA WSL 2 team is not granted a licence for 2018/19 and is promoted on the pitch to FA WSL 1 . The answer is clear that team goes down to the FA WPL or any step lower in the pyramid, but that would embarrass the FA and shock the public.

3a same thing with a FA WSL 1 team not granted a licence 2018/19 wins the title or qualify for the Champions League. Again no doubt, that team would be kicked out of the FA WSL. Another embarrassment for the FA to have a Champions League side playing at level 3,4,or 5 in the pyramid. You could imagine the uproar should a League 1 side was competing in the men’s champions league.

3b same case a FA WSL1 team is granted a FA WSL 2 license and  qualify for the champions league, no problems, relegation for the team but an embarassment to have a lower division team playing in the elite european club competition.

The FA announcement leaves so many loopholes open and the timing of the Licensing choice is so wrong and they really should have done it later or renewed the licence from the 2017/18 seasons to avoid all the potential conflicts that will arise.

And I am not even talking about the transparency of the process as we still don’t know if it was fairly applied in the two previous times for the 2011 and 2014 licenses. Why the FA never published the teams ranking and the reason for giving licences to certain teams is beyond me. It only fuels the suspicion of conspiracy theories and bitterness for the teams not selected.

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