FA WSL 1 Summer transfer window 2017

The Summer transfer windows opens on the 23rd of June and will close on the 14th of September

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Expected deals to go through ( could or could not happen)

 

Manchester City

In : Stephanie Houghton, Mie Jans ( Brondby IF), Karen Bardsley, Megan Campbell, Claire Emslie ( Bristol), Jennifer Beattie, Pauline Bremer (OL)

Out : Toni Duggan ( Barcelona), Kosovare Asslani (Linkopings), Lucy Bronze (OL)

 

Chelsea

In : Carly Telford, Magdalena Eriksson ( Linkopings)

Out : Lois Joel ( West Virginia Mountainers), Ana Borges ( Sporting Lisbon), Fran Kitching ( Watford Ladies – loan), Jodie Brett ( Everton)

 

Arsenal

In : Vivianne Mediema ( FC Bayern), Gabby Ravenscroft ( Oxford United), Sari Van Veenendaal, Lisa Evans ( FC Bayern), Alex Scott, Miriael Taylor ( Chelsea Ladies), Ellie Perkins ( London Bees), Jessica Samuelsson ( Linkopings), Josephine Henning ( Olympique Lyonnais)

Out : Laura Hooper ( Seattle University Redhawks), Tinaya Alexander ( LSU Soccer), Chiara Ritchie-Williams ( LSU Soccer), Lotte Wubben-Moy  (UNC), Anna Patten ( FSU), Carla Humphrey (Bristol), Jordan Littleboy ( Hofstra university), Molly Peters ( West Ham Ladies), Rianna Dean (Millwall), Chloe Brunton-Wilde (Charlton Women), Sian Rogers ( Aston Villa), Charlotte Devlin ( Millwall Lionesses), Chloe Kelly ( Everton – loan), Fara Williams ( Reading)

 

Liverpool

In : Niamh Charles, – ()

Out : Danielle Gibbons, Katie Zelem ( Juventus FC)

 

Birmingham

In : Sophie Baggaley, Emily Westwood, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Meghan Sargeant

Out : Sophie Baggaley ( Bristol  – loan)

 

Sunderland

In :

Out : Stephanie Bannon ( retirement)

 

Reading

In : Fara Williams ( Arsenal)

Out : Kayleigh Hines ( Oxford), Anissa Lahmari ( Paris FC), Charlie Estcourt ( Bristol -loan)

 

Yeovil Town

In : Paige Sawyer ( Bristol), Megan Walsh

Out : Sarah Wiltshire ( Spurs Ladies), Angharad James (Everton), Nathalie Haigh ( Coventry) , Hannah Short, Steph Williams, Molly Clark ( Portsmouth), Nia Jones, Charlotte Haynes,

 

Bristol City

In : Yana Daniels ( RSC Anderlecht), Danique Kerkdjik ( FC Twente), Carla Humphrey (Arsenal), Millie Turner, Chloe Arthur, Loren Dykes, Eloise Wilson, Jasmine Matthews, Sophie Baggaley ( Birmingham – loan), Charlie Estcourt ( Reading – loan), Florence Allen

Out : Claire Emslie ( Manchester City), Megan Alexander (Milwall Lionesses), Lily Agg ( 1 FFC Frankfurt) , Katie Jones, Paige Sawyer ( Yeovil), Jodie Brett ( Everton), Hayley Ladd, Frankie Brown

 

Everton Ladies

In : Gabby George, Georgia Brougham, Claudia Walker, Simone Magill, Kirstie Levell, Faye Brison, Siri Worm ( FC Twente), Marthe Musterman ( FC Twente), Mollie Green, Lizzie Durrack ( Harvard University), Angharad James (Yeovil), Megan Finnigan, Jodie Brett ( Chelsea), Chloe Kelly ( Arsenal -loan), Danielle Turner,  – ()

Out : Lauren Davies (AFC Fylde),  Emily Hollinshead, Amber-Keegan Stobbs ( West Ham), Sasha Rowe ( Liverpool Feds), – (), – ()

All the FA WSL players selected for the Euro 2017 and their squad numbers

The tournament is starting in ten days and UEFA has published the teams’ squad lists. Here are all the FA WSL 1&2  players that will be involved in the Netherlands

 

FA WSL 1

 

Arsenal (9)

Jordan Nobbs, England #7

Alexandra Scott, England #22

Jodie Taylor, England #9

Fara Williams, England #10

Dominique Janssen, Netherlands #20

Anna Miedema, Netherlands #9

Danielle Van De Donk, Netherlands #10

Sari Van Veenendaal, Netherlands #1

Lisa Evans, Scotland #11

 

Birmingham (2)

Ellen White, England #10

Andrine Hegerberg, Norway #8

 

 

Bristol (2)

Yana Daniels, Belgium #15

Chloe Arthur, Scotland #23

 

Chelsea (8)

Millie Bright, England #16

Karen Carney, England #14

Francesca Kirby, England #23

Carly Telford, England #21

Maren Mjelde, Norway #6

Erin Cuthbert, Scotland #8

Hedvig Lindhal, Sweden#1

Ramona Bachmann, Switzerland #10

 

Liverpool (5)

Siobhan Chamberlain, England #13

Alex Greenwood, England #20

Casey Stoney, England #12

Shanice Van De Sanden, Netherlands #7

Caroline Weir, Scotland #9

 

 

Manchester City (11)

Mie Jans, Danemark #18

Karen Bardsley, England #1

Lucia Bronze, England #2

Isobel Christiansen, England #8

Toni Duggan*, England #19

Stephanie Houghton, England #5

Nikita Parris, England #17

Jill Scott, England #4

Demi Stokes, England #3

Jane Ross, Scotland #19

Kosovare Asllani, Sweden #9

 

Reading (3)

Jade Moore, England #11

Josanne Potter, England #6

Mandy Van Den Berg, Netherlands #4

 

FA WSL 2

 

Doncaster Belles (1)

Christie Murray, Scotland #16

 

* Toni Duggan has signed for FC Barcelona but was registered by the FA as a Manchester City player.

Frankie Fantom Brown is listed as unattached although Bristol City have not mentioned she has left the club yet.

FA WSL licence application for 2018/19 extended

The news came about a month ago following the demise of Notts County Ladies and the restructure of the WSL1 and WSL2 with Everton promoted to make it ten teams in each division. But as usual questions remain as there are some grey areas in the announcement.

The most curious point is actually when the FA made the original announcement back in December 2016   they actually opened for 20 WSL teams licences available, which did  not make sense at the time as the FA WPL was going to get promoted for the 2017/18 season.  So if Notts had not folded , there would have been 21 teams including newly promoted Spurs fighting for 20 licences.

“The alignment of the FA WSL season with the rest of the women’s football pyramid will mean that relegation from FA WSL 2 into the FA Women’s Premier League (FA WPL) will be introduced from the 2017-18 season.”

It is great to see relegation introduced and it will mean more pressure for teams at the bottom of the FA WSL2.

“The promotion position for the FA Women’s Premier League (FA WPL) play-off winners will be continued.”

“The licences will begin for the 2018-19 season and, for the first time, will not be fixed-term. Clubs will need to continue to meet licence criteria on an annual basis.”

This is a huge change and quite a disruptive one as team can lose their licence and we do not know where they would end up if they lose theirs. You also have to question what will happen to promotion relegation as well as teams could be promoted/relegated off the pitch, while the on the pitch results are different.

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

We all know that there is media pressure for United to get a women’s team but Southampton who now have an RTC and a u20 team are in better position to grab a licence if there is an opening.

Coming back to the point in bold, the application have been extended to a deadline on the 9th of october
“Under the revised schedule, recommendations will be made to and assessed by the FA Women’s Football Board by end of December 2017. “

“The constitution of clubs within the competition will be confirmed at the FA WSL AGM in June 2018. Licences will begin from the 2018-19 season.”

So basically by January 2018, the teams will already know where if they  will play FA WSL1, FA WSL2 or if they will lose their licence for the 2018/19 season. We are talking here FIVE months before the end of the 2017/18 season.

And then we get told there is promotion relegation between FA WSL 1 – FA WSL 2 and  FA WSL 2- FAWPL. Now, it is does not make sense to me at all, does it means the FA will actually have promotion relegation off the pitch as well as promotion relegation on the pitch.

Remember prior to the 2014 season Doncaster Belles were relegated off the pitch one game into their season and went to FA WSL 2, while newcomer Manchester City Ladies went straight to FA WSL1. And to be fair, considering City’s investment for their women’s football team, it was with hindsight the right decision.

So far example, what if the team with the smallest FA WSL 1 budget finishes in ninth place or higher and  is actually outbid by one team from the FA WSL 2 that subsequently replace them for the 2018/19 season when licence are delivered.

Does it mean that the team that finished bottom of the FA WSL 1 is not relegated and the team that finished top of the FA WSL 2 is not promoted, or does it mean that we would see a double promotion relegation?

And because licences are now offered for one season only and need to be renewed every season, we will get the same scenario every season and we don’t know if off the pitch results takes priority over on the pitch results.

At the end of the day, if a team is not allowed to compete in FA WSL1 because of lack of money, infrastructure or else, but is promoted or staying up in the division, you have to wonder what the FA will decided to do and it is an incredibly grey area.

As previously mentioned the Belles were demoted one game into their season and the FA got lucky that they finished bottom of the FA WSL 1 that year and it looked like a normal relegation rather than a demotion to the general public.

 

I intend to ask the FA and see what the answer they come up with as the impact of those decisions is important in term of fairness of the competition.

FA WSL 1 winter transfer window 2017

Here is the recap for this winter’s transfer window that has closed on the 6th of April :

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Expected deals to go through 

Manchester City

In : Keira Walsh (2019/20), Abbie McManus, Megan Campbell, Melissa Lawley ( Birmingham City), Carli Lloyd ( Houston Dash), Georgia Stanway

Out : Daphné Corboz ( Sky Blue FC)

Chelsea

In :  Laura Coombs ( Liverpool –  end of loan),  Maren Mjelde ( Avaldnes IL), Eniola Aluko, Gemma Davison, Anna Borges ( 2018), Ramona Bachmann ( Wolfsburg), Erin Cuthbert (Glasgow City), Crystal Dunn ( Washington Spirit), Millie Bright, Hannah Blundell, Rebecca Spencer, Jodie Brett, Millie Farrow, Fran Kitching, Deanna Cooper ( London Bees), Karen Carney, Hedvig Lindahl, Bethany England, Jade Bailey, Carly Telford ( Notts County)

Out : Laura Rafferty ( Brighton), Jenna Legg ( Brighton), Rosella Ayane, Ana Borges ( Sporting- loan ), Alessia Russo ( Brighton), Anne Meiwald ( London Bees), Jodie Brett ( Bristol -loan), Millie Farrow ( Bristol – loan), Laura Coombs ( Liverpool)

Arsenal

In : Kim Little ( Seattle Reign), Carla Humphrey ( Doncaster Belles – end of loan), Danielle Van De Donk, Heather O’Reilly ( FC Kansas City), Beth Mead ( Sunderland), Anna Moorhouse ( Doncaster Belles), Carla Humphrey, Chloe Kelly, Charlotte Devlin, Molly Peters ( West Ham), Jordan Littleboy ( London Bees), Louise Quinn ( Notts County)

Out : Natalia Pablos Sanchon ( Rayo Vallecano), Marta Corredera ( Atletico Madrid), Vicky Losada ( FC Barcelona) , Casey Stoney ( Liverpool ), Josephine Henning ( Olympique Lyonnais), Emma Byrne ( Brighton), Rachel Yankey, Lucy Parker ( LSU Soccer), Kelly Smith ( retirement), Asisat Osholala ( Dalian Quinjan), Charlotte Devlin ( Millwall – loan)

Liverpool

In : Mayumi Pacheco ( Doncaster – end of loan), Casey Stoney ( Arsenal), Kirtsy Hanson ( end of loan – Sheffield), Danielle Gibbons, Satara Murray, Marta Harris, Laura Coombs ( Chelsea), Jess Clarke ( Notts County), Amy Turner ( Notts County)

Out : Rosie White ( Boston Breakers), Emma Lundh ( IFK Viksjö), Mandy Van Den Berg ( Reading Women), Laura Coombs ( Chelsea – end of loan), Kirsty Hanson ( Doncaster), Mayumi Pacheco ( Doncaster – transfer), Hannah Dale( Sheffield – loan), Mollie Green ( Everton)

Birmingham

In : Mark Skinner ( manager), Leanne Hall ( assistant manager), Jess Carter, Sarah Mayling ( Aston Villa), Ellen White ( Notts County), Kerys Harrop, Paige Williams (Verona), Emma Follis ( Reading), Rachel Williams ( Notts County)

Out : David Parker ( manager), Marcus Bignot ( head coach), Melissa Lawley ( Manchester City), Corina Schroeder, Alex Windell, Kirsty Linnett ( Notts County)

Notts County Ladies ( folded)

In : Rachel Williams, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Leanne Crichton, Angharad James, Kirsty Linnett ( Birmingham), Aileen Whelan, Louise Quinn ( Eskiltuna United), Shelly Provan ( Reading), Bianca Bragg (unattached)

Out : Avi Luik, Sophie Walton ( Doncaster Belles), Ellen White ( Birmingham City), Laura Jayne O’Neill (Forest),  Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Alice Hassall ( Aston Villa), Taome Oliver ( Oxford United), Jess Clarke ( Liverpool)

Sunderland

In : Hilde Gunn Olsen, Anke Preuss ( ASGM Verona), Dominique Bruinenberg ( ASGM Verona),  Beverly Leon, Stephanie Bannon, Abby Holmes, Hayley Sharp, Melanie Reay ( Head coach)

Out : Emma Kelly ( Middlesborough Ladies), Rachel Furness ( Reading), Beth Mead ( Arsenal),  Brooke Chaplen ( Reading), Rachel Laws ( Durham), Charlotte Potts ( Middlesborough Ladies)

Reading

In : Mandy Van Den Berg ( Liverpool), Mary Earps, Rachel Furness ( Sunderland), Lauren Bruton, Melissa Fletcher, Charlie Estcourt, Anna Green ( Malbackens IF), Rebecca Jane, Kirsty McGhee, Brooke Chaplen ( Sunderland), Harriet Scott, Emma Follis, Amber Stobbs, Anissa Lahmari ( PSG -loan), Kirsty Linnett ( Notts County), Jo Potter ( Notts County), Jade Moore (Notts County)

Out : Jade Boho-Sayo ( Madrid CFF) , Laura May-Walkley ( London Bees) , Helen Ward ( Yeovil), Lois Roche ( Aland United), Shelley Provan ( Notts County), Amber-Keegan Stobbs ( Everton), Emma Follis (Birmingham), Nia Jones ( Yeovil)

Yeovil Town

In : Helen Ward* ( Reading), Nathalie Haigh, Helen Bleazard, Ellie Curson, Hannah Short, Stephanie Williams, Charlotte Haynes, Jessie Jones, Leah Burridge, Kelly Snook, Lucy Quinn, Steph Williams, Nia Jones ( Reading), Molly Clark ( Chichester), Angharad James ( Notts County)

Out : Kayleigh Green ( Chietti Calcio Feminile), Ellis Hillmann, Emily Donovan ( Oxford), Lauren Townsend ( Cardiff Met), Danielle Carlton ( Spurs Ladies)

Bristol City

In : Millie Turner ( Everton), Georgia Evans, Caitlin Leach, Megan Alexander, Jasmine Matthews, Olivia Fergusson, Eloise Wilson, Lily Agg ( Brighton), Corinne Yorston, Frankie Brown, Chloe Arthur, Claire Emslie, Hayley Ladd, Loren Dykes, Jodie Brett ( Chelsea -loan), Millie Farrow ( Chelsea – loan)

Out : Grace McCatty ( Durham Women), Hannah Reid ( Hibs)

FA WSL 1 Spring Series prediction

With the WSL 1 Spring Series starting soon, I thought I would do my usual prediction for the upcoming 2 months league.

With nine games in eight weeks, the scheduling should be clean and you would expect teams to play  a game per week every week-end, making in a very much balanced competition.

As we all know this is not the case at all, due to Cup games and postponement. So the Spring Series might actually have a kind of survival of the fittest feel, something we are used to have in the FA WSL anyway with a fixture list as bad as they have been in the last six seasons.

Anyway, as there are nine games to play for each team, some of them will play more away than home games with five teams having a 4H and 5A, four teams having a 5H and 4A and one team with 6H and 3A ( Yeovil). Yeovil were 5-4, but Arsenal switched the tie around due to their home ground situation ( they have a new landlord in London Bees for three out of their four games) .

So I have set up my predictions with an expected range of final position at the end of the season as well as an expected range of finishing points. Here are the teams in reverse order of the final table last year.

Bristol City 5H 4A expected position 6 to 8 expected points : 7-14

They have kept the core of their team that finished runner-up in the WSL 2 last season. They also added players to have more strength in-depth.  With the quality they have at their disposal, they could finish close to mid-table.

Yeovil Town  6H 3A  expected position 8 to 10 expected points 4-11

The FA WSL 2 winners have six home games and should get at least four points from those and could even get a lot more points overall. It will be a learning process for the Glovers and good preparation for the 2017/18 season.

Reading Women 5H 4A expected position 7 to 9 expected points 5-12

A squad short in numbers reinforced on the final day by a young French playmaker. I expect them to keep the same tactics as last year. They should be hard to beat home and away. If they can score goals they will be close to the maximum expected points, if not I would expect a lot of draws again.

Sunderland Ladies 5H 4A  expected position 6 to 8 expected points 7-14

Another team with a small squad, the first 11 has a lot of quality but the bench in all the games played so far looked quite light in-depth with many youngsters. We will see if the return to semi-professional status will affect their performances.

Notts County Ladies 4H 5A expected position 7 to 9 expected points 5-12

A little bit of a turnover with four new signings and eight players leaving during the transfer window. Key players have been retained. The big question is can the players perform as their final table position never matched their potential throughout all the years.  The HMRC case is also like a sword of  Damocles above their head as well.

Liverpool Ladies  4H 5A expected position 3 to 5 expected points 15 -23

A good transfer window bringing in Clarke and Stoney and Coombs back as well. They will have a solid defense and a dynamic frontline. The only team to take points off City in the League last year, I expect them to be a third place contender.

Birmingham City  5H 4A expected position 3 to 5 expected points 15 -23

A change in the management team as well as a shrewd recruitment campaign. They should keep their defensive strength and add more creativity in attack. Another team that I expect to compete for the third place.

Arsenal Ladies 4H 5A expected position 3 to 5 expected points 15 -23

A huge player turnover during the winter with some quality signings in Little and O’Reilly. FA Cup games showed a clear imbalance between attack and defense due to multiple injuries in that position. If all the injured players are quickly back, they might challenge for a top 2 place otherwise, they should fight for the third place again.

Chelsea Ladies 4H 5A expected position 1-3 expected points 18-25

An excellent recruitment campaign with Cuthbert, Mjelde, Bachmann Dunn and Cooper to add more competition for places for a squad that did not achieve as much as they could last season. They are my favourites to win the Spring Series or will run very close to City.

Manchester City 4H 5A  expected position 1-3 expected points 20-27

Can they finish the Spring Series unbeaten like they did in the League last year? Yes they might, although the FA has actually tried very hard to prevent them to do so with one of the worse schedule ever.

Teams that are succesful in the Champions League are always at a disadvantage as seen with Arsenal, Bristol, Birmingham, Chelsea and now City.

They have a very stable squad and added Melissa Lawley and Carli Lloyd, they are well stacked in most positions and will be the team to beat.

 

Doomsday for some FA WSL franchises sooner or later ?

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…

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.