New entrants to the FA WSL, what are the rules ?

The licensing process allows for new entrants to come in if one or more team fails to retain its current licence, but what do we know about what happens next ?

From the FA website, the only information we have is this sentence:

“Should a place in the FA WSL become available outside of promotion and relegation, it will be made available through an open application process.”

This raises more questions than answers. I previously had a look at the potential new entrants names here.

We don’t have any timeline of the open application process, which is strange to be honest. How can team barred from entering the phase 1 bidding, could be ready three months later to bid for a place ? Unless they get a hint from the FA, come mid-May when the licencing will be revealed and potentially teasm demoted to the FA WPL or below, again another question without answer, how can those new entrants prepare their bid not knowing the timeline ?

And then what if one team like City in did in 2014, comes with a superb bid? Considering all the WSL 1 places would be likely to have been decided in the normal licensing way prior to the open bid process, does that new team come to WSL 2 or does it goes straight to  WSL 1 and the lowest accepted WSL 1 bid ends up in WSL 2?

Obviously, there is absolutely no need to rush the application phase for potential new teams as licenses would be awarded for the 2018/19 season, 16 months after the licenses are awarded to the current WSL teams, but again as usual with the FA WSL, there is a lot of dark side and it is really annoying as it happens on a regular basis.


Division 1 Feminine Matchday 12 results

There was an important game at the top of the table and it might decide who will get in the Champions League next season, depending on what will happen for the OL PSG and MHSC OL games.


Some big results at the top of the table with Montpellier beating PSG, the first time MHSC has beaten a top 2 team in the League since Jean-Louis Saez took over the team. The Swedish mafia ( Jakobsson, Blackstenius) scored for Montpellier.

Juvisy lost ground in midweek, won on Sunday and announced tday that they would start merging with Paris Football Club. Clearly their amateur/ semi-professional model is not competitive against full time professional teams and they had to make a change to survive and try to be competitive again.

There was a lot of hype for Alex Morgan’s debut away to Guingamp and she started the game with Ada Hegerberg being dropped to make way for her. Hegerberg subbed in for Le Sommer at half time and Morgan lasted 73 minutes and was replaced by Lavogez.

Postponed game

St Etienne 2 Juvisy 0


Matchday 12 results

Guingamp 0 OL 3

Montpellier 2 PSG 1

Soyaux 2 Bordeaux 0

Juvisy 3 Albi 0

OM 3 Rodez 1

St Etienne Metz postponed



1 Lyon 30 pts  pl 11

2 Montpellier 30 pts pl 12

3 PSG 26 pts pl 11

4 Juvisy 16 pts 11

5 Guingamp 15 pts pl 11

6 OM 14 pts pl 11

7 St Etienne 13 pts pl 10

8 Soyaux 13 pts pl 11

9 Rodez 12 pts pl 12

10 Bordeaux 9 pts pl 12

11 Albi 7 pts pl 10

12 Metz 1 pt pl 10


The current table is distorted with teams having games in hand all over the place.

Metz are likely to go down unless they start winning games, while the second relegation place is wide open. In theory, no one except the top 3 teams are safe. Of course it will depend on Albi’s results with their two games in hand because if they win those, they could go as high as 7th in the table.

At the top the situation is clear, PSG are in danger of not qualifying for the champions league, a first since QSI took over the women’s team properly and bankrolled the changes.

Lyon can finish the season with 63 pts, Montpellier with 60 pts, PSG with 59 pts maximum, unless they can get something on appeal from the Matchday 1 game lost by penalty. PSG obviously hoping for the game to be replayed and then win it again.


If we consider that the top 3 teams will beat all the team ranked 4th to 12, the crucial remaining head to head games will be played on :

Matchday 15  Montpellier-Lyon 26th of Feb

Matchday 21 Lyon – PSG 14th of May



The FA WSL Spring Series schedule

The FA have released the Spring Series schedule and as usual it is a mix bag of good things and bad things. Here I will have a look the potential postponement during the series.

First it has to be said that the FA try her best to get it right but there are many parameters that prevent them to do so, some of them are out of their hands actually. The full schedule can be found here.

Let’s start with the FA WSL 2, the scheduling is great and full credit to the FA. The nine rounds are all played at week-end, which makes it easy and consistent for the fans to attend games.

But there are a couple of curious glitches, that are not logical at all.

Round 2 is split over two week-ends with two games placed at the same time as the FA Women’s Cup Round 4. Doncaster v Villa on the Saturday and Everton v Durham on the Sunday.

Do they FA expect of those four teams to lose in the FA Women’s Cup third round ? I don’t think that all four teams will lose in the FA Cup Round 3.

Round 3 of the FA WSL 2 Spring Series is played during the SheBelieves/Algarve/Cyprus/Istria Cup. Those four tournaments are played at FIFA dates and it is compulsory to release the players.

So the FA is banking on club breaking the FIFA rules or the fact that there are no foreign international players in FA WSL 2, which is my guess.  So teams might be depleted and force to play with whoever is still around on the day.

And if teams don’t have enough players, they can forfeit the game as it has happened to the Arsenal Ladies development team as the third of the team was at the U17 world Cup and could not field a team.

Round 5 same situation, FIFA international window for games, team can lose players and would still have to play or could postpone games depending on the Spring Series regulations.

In term of FA WSL 1 problems it is mainly linked to Manchester City playing in the Champions League, they could have up to three games postponed if they can beat Brondby in the WCL quarter-finals.

These are actually Round 1 and 2 of the FA WSL 1 Spring Series and as unlikely as it is, should City beat Lyon or Wolfsburg and reach the final, they would have to play Round 9 two days after the Champions League final. It would be an unrealistic demand on the player’s body.

This is not taking into account the postponement due to bad weather as we know it never happens in England, a country where the sun shines 300 days per year. All the pitches are always clean and dry all year round, of course.

So if things go right 100% of the fixtures will be played as scheduled and if things go wrong 90% should be played as scheduled. We will see how things will turn. Hopefully it will be a great half season with plenty of entertainment.


D1 Feminine matchday 12 preview

After a week-end dedicated to the French Cup, it is back to the usual business with the D1 feminine matchday 12 that could see Alex Morgan make her debut for Olympique Lyonnais while Amandine Henry could make hers for PSG.

First,  there is a postponed game form Matchday 7 to be played on Wednesday between  Saint-Etienne and Juvisy. Then next week-end we will have the full fixture list on Saturday and Sunday.


Here is the upcoming program and the league table :

Table as from today from



Note : PSG have been given a 3-0 defeat to Albi in Matchday 1 and a penalty point as well so there are currently in 3rd place with 26 points as their appeal is not suspensive.

The Montpellier v PSG game is therefore crucial in the title/champions League place race, with both teams having brought reinforcements during the winter transfer window : Lawrence and Henry for PSG, Cayman and Blackstenius for MHSC


Wed 11 Jan

St Etienne v Juvisy

Sat 14 Jan

Guingamp v Lyon ( live on Eurosport player & best moment goals on Eurosport 2 ) ko 2.30 pm

Montpellier v PSG   ( live on Eurosport 2 ) ko 2.30pm

Sun 15  Jan

Soyaux v Bordeaux

St-Etienne v Metz

Juvisy v Albi

Marseille v Rodez







FA Women’s Cup Round 3 draw

The FA WSL 2 teams are entering the competition alongside the 14 winners from the previous round, here are the matchup  :


Note, there are 3 different levels represented in this round, level 2 FA WSL 2, level 3 FA WPL Northern and Southern and level 4 FA WPL Division 1 South East, South West and Northern.


WSL 2 v WSL 2 (0)

Millwall Lionesses v London Bees

Doncaster Belles v Watford Ladies


WSL 2  v FA WPL Southern (1)

Charlton Women v Sheffield Ladies*

Coventry United v Oxford United*


WSL 2 v FA WPL Southern EastDivision 1 (2)

AFC Wimbledon v BrightonWomen *


WSL 2 FA WPL Southern West Division 1 (2)

Keynsham Town v Durham*

Aston Villa* v Cambridge United


WSL 2  v FA WPL Northern Division 1 (2)

Brighouse v Everton*


FA WPL Northern v FA WPL Northern (0)

Derby County v Forest Ladies


FA WPL Northern v FA WPL Southern (0)

West Brownwich Albion v Lewes Ladies

Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspurs


FA WPL Northern v FA WPL Northern Division 1 (1)

Leicester Women* v Liverpool feds


Games to be played on the 5th of February, opening game on the 2017 season for the FA WSL 2 teams. Higher division team in *

My prediction is up to five FA WSL 2 teams might be eliminated. There will be two of them who will go out at least. Sheffield, Oxford, Durham and Aston Villa, will be to be on their toes fro the first competitive game of the 2017 season.

FA Girls England talent pathway and potential FA WSL new entrants

The threat of new entrants has always been the sword of Damocles for the weaker FA WSL teAMS and it might be happening soon.

As we all remember back in 2014 new entrants Manchester City got a FA WSL 1 place, while Doncaster Belles were demoted to  FA WSL 2. As we see now how the teams have evolved, the FA were probably right to do things that way, even if it appeared extremely unfair at the time for the Belles.

I thought, it was interesting to have a look at the FA Girls England talent pathway for the 2016/17 season to see who could be the potential new entrants should Sunderland or any other team be denied an FA WSL 1 or 2 licence.  Here it is :



What it not shown here, is the club pathway : after the RTC football finishing at U16 level, the FA WSL teams can offer the FA WSL Development League football and then FA WSL 1&2 football.

What I think is having an RTC, is the first step towards full club integration towards a FA WSL team. Now let’s have a look at the RTC teams and if they have a FA WSL/ FA WPL team attached to them :


RTC Tier 1 North

Liverpool WSL 1

Sunderland WSL 1

Blackburn Rovers FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

Leeds United (4th pyramid level)

Manchester United no senior team



RTC Tier 1 South

Arsenal WSL 1

Birmingham WSL 1

Brighton and Hove WSL 2

Oxford  WSL 2

Leicester  FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

Southampton FA WPL South West Division 1 ( 4th pyramid level)


Blackburn and Leeds have a lot of history from the old FA WPL prior to the FA WSL. Southampton also have a lot of history although there are a couple Southampton teams who can claim to be a decendent from the same history. Blackburn and Leicester can actually go up to WSL 2 via FA WPL the play-off. So one of those teams might be a contender if there is an opening. As everybody knows Manchester United have no senior women football team but there is no noise suggesting they would like to join the FA WSL at all.


Then you have 21 teams from the RTC level 2/3, let’s have a look at them again and see if they have a FA WSL or FA WPL team attached to them.


Bristol City WSL 1

Chelsea WSL 1

Reading WSL 1

Aston Villa WSL 2

Durham WSL 2

Doncaster WSL2

Everton  WSL 2

Millwall WSL 2

Sheffield WSL 2

Charlton  FA WPL Southern (3rd pyramid level)

Derby FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

Forest  FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

Stoke City FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

Teeside -> Middlesborough FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

West Brownwich Albion FA WPL Northern (3rd pyramid level)

Gillingham FA WPL South East Division 1 ( 4th pyramid level)

MK Dons FA WPL South East Division 1 ( 4th pyramid level)

Wolves FA WPL Midlands Division 1 ( 4th pyramid level)

Essex no senior team

Boston ?

Shrewsbury Town ?


As previously said the FA WPL teams at least one of them can get promoted to WSL 2 via the FA WPL play-offs.  Charlton have a huge history in the women’s game and have been battling in the FA WPL for years following the decision from the parents to cut the funding.


So who will be applying for a licence if they are allowed to, as we have to remember that the FA has closed the shop for the licence renewal. But the backdoor is opened if one teams fail to get a renewal. As per the FA : “The deadline for applications is 31 March 2017. The applications will then be reviewed and approved by The FA Women’s Football Board at their meeting in mid-May 2017.”

Si if one or more team fail to get a licence, there will be a lot of time before the 2018/19 season starts for the new entrants to put a bid.




A PSG admin error gives Albi the win in Matchday 1 game

During the opening game of the 2016/17 season PSG v Albi, Sarah Palacin played while she was not named on the team sheet, as another player’s name was registered.  The verdict from the disciplinary commission was given today and sees PSG penalised with a defeat by penalty and Albi get the win.

It was either the game to be replayed or a defeat by penalty, as PSG had now been waiting for more than two months for the decision about the game that was played on Matchday 1. It ended  PSG comfortably winning by four goals to nil.

An administrative error happened with Sarah Palacin who was not named on the team sheet came on as a sub. In her place Hawa Cissokho’s name was put on the teamsheet, while she was not there as a substitute on the bench.

As a reminder, the Division 1 feminine is using the electronic team sheet for the third season.  In order to fill up the matchday teamsheet, the teams no longer write-up the player’s name,  licence registration number,  date of birth etc, they simply click on the players names on the matchday tablet.  It is probably because of  a lack of concentration or attention that Cissokho ended up instead of Palacin on the teamsheet.

The facts

On the team sheet, it was mentioned that there was a “technical problem” in the post game observations area. In that box, it was written that for PSG number 9 had replaced on the 46th minute number 20. That point had to be cleared and an enquiry had been opened in order to gather all the needed information to take a decision.

The Federal commission had to examine that case before returning judgement on the final scoreline. It could  have been a complex case scenario.  Both captains had signed the team sheet before the game and therefore agreed on the team’s line-up. In that case, it was decided that Palacin coming on as a sub was a player participating in a game where was not registered for on the teamsheet.

Defeat by penalty

As one player had taken part in the game, while she had not been registered on the team sheet prior to the game, her team was in breach of the Reglements Generaux  regulations from the FFF related to playing in a game.

The commission therefore considered that :

It was not possible that the player taking part in the game, while not registered on the team sheet, even if it was due to the club’s carelessness, would bear no sporting consequence

Validating the result from a game won with an irregularity, due to  the lack of knowledge from the club on the regulations was obviously not agreeable

The fact that the referees did not realise, before the game, that there was a player not listed on the team sheet that could enter the game and play, does not exonerate the team from its entire responsibility in the fact that there was an irregularity during the game.

This is due to the fact that the captains have an obligation to check, with the potential help from the club executives, the players list and squad numbers from their team.

The referees should not bear that responsibility, as they do not have the capacity and the means to manage it especially as it could lead to an abuse of the system.

The commission put the decision in deliberate and communicated it to the club today by giving the game lost by penalty to PSG and Albi to get the win.  PSG loses the three points from the victory as well as an extra point as a punishment ( for the error). Albi gets the 3 points for the win and the scoreline goes by 3-0.

Appeal from PSG ?

Top of the table  before that decision, PSG should probably appeal the decision. With that punishment, they dropped to the third place with 26 points, behind Lyon and Montpellier with 27 points. The club has 10 days to appeal, once it has been officially notified of the punishment.


This is the translation from the following footofeminin article

Update :  PSG has already said they would appeal