Analyzing the FA WSL and FA WC 2018/19 rules part 2

Here in part 2, we will look at the players ‘regulations and the FA can  spring on us.


One rule that is always used during a season :

8.2.7 Clubs are responsible for all Players being correctly registered and ensuring that they are so registered before any Player is fielded in a Competition Match. Fielding an unregistered Player in a Competition Match shall constitute fielding an ineligible Player and Rule 8.14 shall apply.

The usual contract non contract player status is set

8.3 Player Status
8.3.1 The status of a Player shall be:
(a) Contract Player; or
(b) Non Contract Player.
8.3.2 A Contract Player must be engaged on a Playing Contract. All contracts and financial arrangements shall comply with Rule C1 of The FA Rules and be in the full name of the Club including the Club’s registered number.
8.3.3 A Non Contract Player shall not be entitled to any payment in relation to their playing services for a Club other than the reimbursement of expenses actually incurred in relation to their playing services for the Club. Payment of such expenses must be in accordance with Rule C2(b)(iii) of The FA Rules. Rule C2 of The FA Rules in respect of Non Contract Players shall apply to the Competitions

The transfer window rules, contracted players can only move during the transfer windows. The other players can move freely.

8.4 Registration period
8.4.1 The Board shall nominate two periods for each Playing Season in which Contract Player registrations and transfers are permitted. The first of which shall commence prior to the start of each Playing Season (the “First Transfer Window”) and the second shall commence during the Playing Season (the “Second Transfer Window”) (together the “Transfer Windows”). The Board shall notify the Clubs of the dates of the Transfer Windows for each Playing Season.
8.4.2 Subject to Rule 8.4.3, Contract Player registrations and transfers shall only take place during a Transfer Window

8.4.4 Non Contract Players are permitted to transfer or register with any Club at any point; transfers and registrations of Non Contract Players are not restricted to the Transfer Windows

Players must be 16 years old to take part in the FA WSL / FAWC

8.5.2 A Player may not be registered to play in the Competitions before she has reached her 16th birthday.

There is a bizzare rules about not signing players from the same team before a certain amount of time. I really don’t get that rule at all to be honest.

8.6.9 Except when specific approval has been given by the Management Committee a Club cannot register more than one Player (whether a Contract Player or Non Contract Player) by way of transfer from any other Club within any 14 day period.

Then important rules on squad cap and homegrown players. My guess is certain teams are in breach of the homegrown rule.

8.10 Squad Cap and Home Grown Players
8.10.1 A maximum of:
(a) 23 Players (including Players on Long Term Loan but excluding Players on Short Term Loan); and
(b) two Players on Short Term Loan,
may be registered to play for a Club in the Competitions at any one time during a Playing Season (the “Squad Cap”).
8.10.2 Subject to Rules 8.10.3 to 8.10.6 and 8.11.42, if a Player is registered to play for a Club in the Competitions for the Playing Season, that Player shall continue to count towards the Squad Cap for that Club for the remainder of the Playing Season even if that Player stops playing or is no longer registered for the Club during the Playing Season for any reason.

There is a limited number of transfer allowed in the January transfer window. Another bizzare rule, I mean if a club is short in numbers, they will need players. That rule created a lot of problems last season to Watford when many players left alongside the manager.

8.10.4 During the Second Transfer Window, each Club shall be entitled to remove or replace a maximum of three Players who have previously been registered and included in its Squad Cap for that Playing Season by sending a notice to the Competition Secretary stating which Players have been removed. Once a Player has been removed from the Squad Cap in accordance with this Rule 8.10.4 such Player shall no longer be eligible to play in the Competitions for the Club and will not count towards the Club’s Squad Cap.

The homegrown rule :

8.10.7 At all times during a Playing Season, each Club shall ensure that it has at least the minimum number of Home Grown Players registered to participate in Competition Matches as set out below. Players for the purposes of the table below shall only include those Players who are included in a Club’s Squad Cap.


Interesting rules about the Academy / reserves players, they are allowed to play in the FA WSL/FA WC games but their number is limited to 3. Again another bizzare ruling, if a club has many injured/sick/suspended players, they can only bring 3 players from the reserves.


8.11 Academy/ Reserve Players
8.11.1 Each Club shall be entitled to select and register any number of Academy/Reserve Players during each Playing Season who, subject to the below, may participate in Competition Matches.
8.11.2 If a Club intends to select an Academy/Reserve Player for a Competition Match it must complete a relevant registration form and ensure that it is received and approved by the Competition Secretary in accordance with Rule 8.2.4.
8.11.3 Where registered and subject to Rule 2.4, a maximum of 3 Academy/Reserve Players may be included on a Club’s Team Sheet for each Competition Match.
8.11.4 Where registered, an Academy/Reserve Player may participate in up to 3 Competition Matches without being included in a Club’s Squad Cap. Any Academy/Reserve Player who participates in more than 3 Competition Matches shall be included in a Club’s Squad Cap.
8.11.5 An Academy/Reserve Player will be considered to have participated in a Competition Match if they are included in the starting 11 or appear on the field of play as a substitute in a Competition Match.

The all important rules about playing an ineligible player. Curious to note that the FA does not deal with those breach of rule but an independent tribunal.

8.14 Playing an ineligible player
8.14.1 Any Club found to have played an ineligible Player in a Competition Match or Competition Matches shall be in breach of these Rules and the matter shall be referred to an Independent Tribunal for determination pursuant to Rule 3.6.1(c).
8.14.2 Subject to Rule 8.14.3, the Independent Tribunal may:
(a) order that any points gained from that Competition Match or Competition Matches are deducted from its record up to a maximum of 12 points;
(b) order that any such Competition Match or Competition Matches be replayed on such terms as are decided by the Independent Tribunal; and/or (c) make any such other order that the Independent Tribunal may decide.
8.14.3 The Independent Tribunal may determine not to impose a points deduction only in circumstances where the ineligibility is due to the failure to obtain an International Transfer Certificate or where the ineligibility is related to the Player’s status. 

Point 8.14.3 is really bizzare, if the club has failed to obtain an ITC, the player should actually not be allowed to play as the transfer has basically not come through ? It is a get out of jail free card that makes no sense.


There is the usual salary cap chapter

8.16 Salary Cap
All Clubs, Players and any other Participants who are involved in the Competitions shall ensure that they comply with the provisions of the Salary Cap Regulations (as amended from time to time).

And a new chapter about the GPS tracker that are now allowed in competitions.

8.17 Player Equipment
8.17.1 Subject to Rules 8.17.2 to 8.17.5, electronic performance and tracking system (“EPTS”) devices may be used during Competition Matches.
8.17.2 EPTS devices must not pose any danger to the Players and/or Match Officials.
8.17.3 Information and data transmitted from the EPTS devices are not permitted to be received or used in the technical area during a Competition Match.
8.17.4 The data collected from any EPTS device may not be used for any commercial activity.
8.17.5 Any branding on EPTS devices must not be visible at any time during a Competition Match.
8.17.6 Any breach of Rules 8.17.2 to 8.17.5 shall be referred to an Independent Tribunal for determination pursuant to Rule 3.6.1(c).

Interestingly the FA does not allow the EPTS data to be used live in a game situation unlike FIFA who allowed it during the World Cup



Those are the most interesting points on the players’ regulations. Part 3 to come next week.


Analyzing the FA WSL and FA WC 2018/19 rules part 1

The FA have finally uploaded the 2018/19 rules, more than a month after the Competition has started. This is the time to analyze if there are any special or unusual rules for this season.

The first five chapters are quite boring to be honest, so we will just go for the juicy stuff.

The chapter 6 is interesting because it shows that certain teams that play in the women’s pyramid third tier are still not allowed to play either in the FA WSL or in the FA WC.

This is obviously aimed at teams like Cardiff City Ladies. It is funny that Swansea and Cardiff can play in the Premier League but not in the top women League. Same with Glasgow City who were rumored to be interested a few years ago.

6.2 Notwithstanding any provision of The FA Rules, a Club must be incorporated in England and will not be entitled to participate in the Competitions if it is not so incorporated. Any amendments to the Memorandum and Articles of Association of a Club must be notified to the Competition Secretary in writing within 14 days of the passing of the resolution together with a copy of the change(s).

Chapter 7 on grounds

7.1.1 Each Club shall have a Ground and such Ground shall be situated in England. The Competition Secretary shall send the names and particulars for each Ground to The FA annually by the date appointed by, and in the format required by, The FA.

I think one club last season played a game in a ground situated in Wales (?) or at least half of the ground.

7.1.2 Unless otherwise specified in these Rules or as provided in the Club Licence, a Club shall not play home Competition Matches at a ground other than its Ground, without the prior approval of The FA.

7.1.3 A Club’s Ground shall be available for all home Competitions Matches which a Club is due to participate in. 

7.1.4 Each Club shall register its Ground and its Pitch dimensions, with the Management Committee prior to the start of each Playing Season. It will be misconduct on the part of a Club to alter its Pitch dimensions during a Playing Season unless it obtains the prior written consent of the Management Committee. The Management Committee may at any time require a Club, at its own cost, to submit a report from a qualified independent source certifying the Pitch dimensions.

If I am correct  when the fixture list was disclosed there were three teams with TBC grounds to be announced.

7.1.9 No alcohol shall be consumed in view of the Pitch before, during or after a Competition Match. Glasses, glass bottles and cans containing alcohol must not be brought into the Ground or taken into any area of the Ground in view of the pitch.

An interesting rule about alcohol, I wonder if this applies to VIP fans ?

There is a provision in the rules for an alternative ground, something that is happening quite often in Women’s football.

7.2 Alternative grounds
7.2.1 If at any point the Ground is or will not be available for home Competition Matches, inspection or falls below the standards required in the Ground Regulations or Club Licence (including in relation to usage), the Club must immediately submit to the Board in writing its proposal for a ground at which its home Competition Matches are to be played (“Alternative Proposal”).
7.2.2 The Alternative Proposal must contain documentary evidence in support of any ground sharing arrangements and evidence that the proposed Ground is demonstrably suitable for the Competitions and Competition Matches and that it satisfies the standards set out in the Ground Regulations and Club Licence

There is also a chapter about moving to a new ground, something we know happened last season for Everton and Liverpool as they had to move out from Widnes.

7.3 Moving to a new Ground
7.3.1 No Club shall permanently move to a ground (other than the Ground) without first obtaining the written consent of the Board; such consent not to be withheld unreasonably. In considering whether to give such consent the Board shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case and shall not grant consent unless it is reasonably satisfied that the move to a new ground:
(a) would be consistent with the objectives of the Competitions;
(b) would be appropriate having in mind the relationship (if any) between the locality with which by its name or otherwise the applicant Club is traditionally associated and that in which such Club proposes to establish its Ground;
(c) would not adversely affect such Club’s Club Officials, Players, supporters, shareholders, sponsors and others having an interest in its activities;
(d) would not have an adverse effect on visiting Clubs;
(e) would not adversely affect Clubs or clubs having their registered Ground or ground in the immediate vicinity of the proposed location;
(f) would enhance the reputation of the Competitions and promote the game of association football generally; and
(g) would ensure a high standard of stadia in the Competitions (including that the proposed ground meets the Ground Regulations).

There are also some chapters on the pitch standards quality and maintenance as well as specifics on artificial grounds. That side of the regulations is not the most glamorous but it is extremely important because if the pitches are not good enough, the players’ health and safety might be at risk.



The FA WSL relegation battle Matchday 2

There are five teams involved at the moment in the relegation battle. These teams have either nil or one point after playing two games ( or one for two of those teams)


West Ham 0 Reading 0

Everton 0 Man City 4

Bristol 0 Chelsea 0

Birmingham 1 Brighton 0

Yeovil 0 Arsenal 7

At the bottom of the table it was a tough game for Yeovil as Arsenal surely remembered that last year’s draw in the corresponding fixture cost them a Champions League place. Seven goal is a tough scoreline for the Glovers and not a good news for their goal difference.

Second from bottom Liverpool had a bye on the day. So they keep their -5 goal difference and 0 point.

Above them Everton had a tough game against Manchester City and are level on goal difference with Liverpool with an extra game played.

Brighton under Hope Powell are also pointless after two games, losing those two matches by the same 1-0 scoreline.

West Ham are close to the relegation line having collected one point from their opening game against champions league contender Reading. They are more likely to look towards the top of the table as the season progresses.

7 West Ham 1 pt 0 pl1

8 Brighton 0 pt -2 pl2

9 Everton 0 pt -5 pl 2

10 Liverpool 0 pt -5 pl 1


11 Yeovil 0 pt -11 pl 2


Tomorrow’s games will see at least one team get their first point on board as Brighton will be at home to Liverpool. West Ham will have a tough away game to Arsenal. Everton will have another test against a top team as Chelsea will be in town  having only collected two points from two games so far.

As Yeovil have a bye tomorrow, they will still be bottom of the table after Matchday 3 unless Liverpool or Everton lose by seven or Brighton lose by ten.

The FA Women’s Championship promotion race Matchday 2

There are three teams with an 100% record at the top of the table. Man United, Lewes and Spurs. United are way ahead on goal difference and are likely to cruise at the top the whole season.

One curious statistic, there have been no draw so far in the competition, ten games ten wins.


Man United  3 Sheffield United 0

Charlton 2 Aston Villa 0

Leicester 0 Spurs 3

Lewes 2 Palace 1

London Bees 2 Millwall 1

Big win for Spurs away to Leicester, a difficult place to go to. Lewes won the battle of the ex FA WPL teams and stay in the promotion places. Bees struggled to beat a young Millwall side who played very well on the night, while Bees were under par and a bit sluggish at time.

Charlton recorded their first win in their game opener against an Aston Villa side that currently sits at the bottom of the table, but with no relegation threat as no one will drop down from the Championship due to the current uneven number of teams in the division.

1 Man United 6 pts +15 pl 2

2 Lewes 6 pts +4 pl 2


3 Spurs 6 pts +4 pl 2

4 Charlton 3 pts +2 pl 1

5 Durham 3 pts +2 pl 1

6 London Bees 3 pts 0 pl2

7 Leicester City 3 pts -1 pl2

Tomorrow’s games will see many promotion contenders face-off, so the table might get clearer that it is at the moment where seven teams are currently vying for the top two places.

The battle for the Champions League places : Matchday 2

Matchday 2 sees a change in the top 2 places with Reading dropping out of it and Birmingham replacing them. Arsenal and Birmingham remain the only two teams with an 100% record.

Everton 0 Manchester City 4

Bristol 0 Chelsea 0

Birmingham 1 Brighton 0

West Ham 0 Reading 0

Yeovil 0 Arsenal 7

Arsenal are top of the League on goal difference with +12 while Birmingham have +2. Both side with six points. Chelsea and Manchester City are not in the top two places for the second week running, something that is unusual as they have dominated the League for the last three seasons.

Chelsea dropped two points at Bristol while City hammered Everton 4-0 away. Two potential contenders Reading and West Ham drew 0-0 which is not a surprise as both side are quality with excellent players who can shine.

Bristol are in a very good position level on points with the third and might be the surprise package on the Champions League race.


1 Arsenal 6 pts +12 pl 2

2 Birmingham 6 pts +2 pl 2


3 Man City 4 pts +4 pl 2

4 Reading 4 pts +4 pl 2

5 Bristol 4 pts +1 pl 2

6 Chelsea 2 pts 0 pl2

7 West Ham 1 pt 0 pl 1


Some big games on Matchday 3 between Champions League contenders might see City return to the top two places if things go their way.


The battle for the Champions League places

Matchday 1 offered a few surprises and for the first time in a while, there is no City or Chelsea in the Champions League qualifying places. This is obviously due to the fact that they played each other and drew. Arsenal and Reading are therefore leading the Champions League race.

The results :

Arsenal 5 Liverpool 0

Birmingham 1 Everton 0

Brighton 0 Bristol 1

Chelsea 0 Man City 0

Reading 4 Yeovil 0

Chelsea and Manchester City dropped two points early and therefore are trailing the other two main contenders Arsenal and Reading.

Birmingham who managed to record a few big wins last season are also in there alongside Bristol. It would certainly be a surprise to see the Vixens compete for a Champions League place later in the season, rather than getting a steady mid-table place .  While Blues are outsiders to get back into Champions League.

West Ham are potential contenders as well, but have nil point so far as they had a bye last Sunday.

Matchday 2 will be played on the 19th and 20th of September and the table might certainly be turned upside down after those games.


1 Arsenal 3 pts +5

2 Reading 3 pts +4

3 Birmingham 3 pts +1

4 Bristol  3 pts +1

5 Chelsea 1 pt 0

6 Man City 1 pt 0

7 West Ham 0 pt 0

The FA WSL relegation battle

Matchday 1 has delivered some big scorelines and some of the teams that were defeated might be in the relegation battle from the beginning. Only one team will be relegated, so all the teams in the bottom side of the table will want to make sure, they leave one team behind them.

The results :

Arsenal 5 Liverpool 0

Birmingham 1 Everton 0

Brighton 0 Bristol 1

Chelsea 0 Man City 0

Reading 4 Yeovil 0

Liverpool need to gel and were exposed against a very solid Arsenal side. The fact that they changed the whole team except for Laura Coombs during the Summer means they need time to learn to play together. They had a weird asymmetrical shape yesterday and playing a centre-back on the left wing was bizzare. They also lost to second tier team Manchester United in the Conti Cup so will need to kickstart their season away to Durham next.

Yeovil lost to Champions League contenders Reading and also need to learn to play together as they like Liverpool have a new manager and made many signings. After a difficult 2017/18 season, they will look at survival due to their small budget compared to the other sides.

Bristol had an important win at Brighton as those two teams might be spending a lot of time mid-table and will want to avoid getting dragged into the relegation battle.

Everton lost to an early goal ( 42secs) to Birmingham and will probably be around the same mid-table position as Bristol and Brighton. They will need to win those head to head games against the similar placed teams.

West Ham also have nil point, but they had a bye and you would expect them to get out of the relegation zone quickly with the quality they signed and the expected signings during the January transfer window.



7 West Ham 0 pt 0

8 Brighton 0 pt -1

9 Everton 0 pt -1

10 Yeovil 0 pt -4

11 Liverpool 0 pt -5