Fulham, Charlton, Manchester United. Three big names in football that let the women’s team down. Are we going to see the same thing happen with one or two FA WSL sides soon ?
Watford Ladies have the constant subject of folding rumours for a while. And they do not seem to get away.
I personally thought, everything was going well for them no later than two or three weeks ago with players taking parts in photo shoot and a tweet coming from the Watford Ladies account about an upcoming announcement that never materialised.
What we definitely know is James Marrs took the manager’s job and was going to bring in many quality players, but for some reasons was quickly let go. Watford Ladies do not officially have a manager as I write now. The news that they have forfeited the FA Women’s Cup tie away to Belles is a clear indication that something is going really wrong over there.
On the money side the parent club probably does not care because, it is not hard to spare a bit of money like 3% of the £74,000,00 they received in Premier League payments for the 2015/16 season. Obviously, there is no return on investment in women’s football, so teams like Man City, Arsenal or Chelsea invest a lot of money because they don’t mind losing money and want to promote the women’s game.
Now the lack of communication from Watford Ladies is extremely worrying, the announcement came from Doncaster Belles and bot from them. They will be fined according to the FA Women’s Cup rules, but will they still be around to pay that fine ?
It seems are in dark with what is happening as much as the fans and the journalists who have tried to contact the club to no avail. With the Spring Series starting next Sunday, there has to be a decision, to see if Watford are playing those nine games or folding.
And then, you have the Sunderland situation where they are cutting the money to the women’s team. I would not be suprised if they do not get a license when renewal are happening soon. A simple calculation shows the problem, the FA money that teams must match up will go up £30,500 to £62,500 in WSL 2, while it is currently £70,000 for WSL 1 today.
So unless Sunderland’s budget drops to £62,500 and not lower, they will meet the new criteria to WSL2 licensing. Now if they are cutting funds and moving from the full-time model to the part-time model, the budget must be taking a hit. And they also mention they are going back to their succesful old FA WPL business model, so to me it looks like demotion to the FA WPL or below will happen for Sunderland for the 2018/19 season.
And this will open the door wide open for new entrants to come in straight into FA WSL 1 or 2 but that’s another story…