The FA WSL relegation battle Matchday 5

The bottom four played each other and Liverpool are the big winners and can now breathe easily as they gained two and three big points on other relegation contenders.


Liverpool 2 Yeovil 1

Everton 3 Brighton 3

Man City 7 West Ham 1

First point for Everton and Brighton. Yeovil rooted to the bottom of the table with no points, but still only one point behind those two teams.

Liverpool now six points clear from the relegation zone and therefore with a bug cushion. West Ham are starting to  slowlycreep back towards the relegation zone after their 7-1 defeat that hurt their goal difference. Still with a four points cushion above it


Matchday 6 games

Brighton v Man City

West Ham v Liverpool

Yeovil v Bristol

It is certainly tight at the bottom of the table and the three teams really need a win to lift a weight of their shoulder.

The FA Women’s Championship promotion race Matchday 4

League leaders Manchester United dropped their first point of the season with a home draw to Durham, while the chasing teams had mixed results with Spurs winning away, Lewes losing away to Charlton.

Matchday four was marred by two serious injuries to Paula Howells and Leah Galton and we still do not know if the FA has taken disciplinary action against the two players responsible for the injuries.

The Bees’ player is a season ending injury and it is amazing to think that the referee on the day gave a free-kick to the player who badly injured her opponent. You cannot be more incompetent than this.  Full credit to the Leicester staff, they were very quick and helpful to take care of the injured player.

Now you would hope the FA would suspend the players from Durham and Leicester for a long time as other FA do around the world, because protecting the physical integrity of the players should be a number one priority in the game. But it does not look that way as we have seen many time in the men and women game.


Man United 0 Durham 0

Charlton 4 Lewes 1

Crystal Palace 1 Tottenham 2


Spurs are now in the promotion place having taken over from Lewes who drop to the third place.


1 Man United 10 pts + 20 pl 4

2 Tottenham 9 pts + 5 pl 3

3 Lewes 9 pts +2 pl 4

4 Charlton 7 pts +5 pl 3


Matchday 5 will see the top four teams play each other with Man United at home to Charlton and Lewes at home to Spurs. Leicester and Durham currently in fifth and sixth place and playing the bottom two teams away might come back in the promotion race should results go their way tomorrow.

The FA WSL relegation battle Matchday 4

The relegation battle is really tight with three teams in one point and any of those who will register their first win will have a huge lift like Liverpool did at Brighton.



Chelsea 2 Brighton 0

Liverpool 0 Reading 1

West Ham 2 Yeovil 1

Bristol v Everton P-P


At the bottom of the table, Yeovil had a good game but no point to show for against West Ham. They also scored their first season goal. West Ham are now four points clear of the relegation zone and should now look towards the top half of the table.

Second from bottom Brighton are also pointless after losing 2-0  at title holders Chelsea. Third team from bottom Everton’s game was postponed due to international call-ups, so they stay one point ahead of the bottom two. Brighton and Everton have yet to score a goal in the League.

Liverpool who registered their first win at Brighton on matchday 3 are three points ahead of the relegation zone. They lost at home to Champions League contenders Reading.



7 West Ham 4pts 0 pl3

8 Liverpool 3 pts -5 pl 3

9 Everton 1 pt -5  pl 3

10 Brighton 0 pt -5 pl 4


11 Yeovil 0 pt  -12 pl 3


There will be a two big games on Matchday 5 with Everton at home to Brighton and Liverpool at home to Yeovil.  The bottom four teams playing each other. Any team winning on the day will have a huge psychological boost.  The bottom place might definitely change tomorrow night.

The battle for the Champions League places Matchday 4

The top two teams are staying put but the chasing pack has now closed the gap to one and two points respectively. Matchday 5 could see the top two teams unseated and replaced by new contenders.


Birmingham 2 Man City 3

Chelsea 2 Brighton 0

Liverpool 0 Reading 1

Bristol Everton P-P


Big wins for Man City who were 2-0 down at Birmingham. First win for Chelsea. Reading gets also an important win at Liverpool.  Bristol and Arsenal did not play so they loose ground on all those teams.

Therefore City are now only one point away from the Champions League places, Reading are two points away, Chelsea are three points away and Bristol four points away.



1 Arsenal 9 pts +13 pl 3

2 Birmingham 9 pts +2 pl 4

3 Man City 8 pts +5 pl 4

4 Reading 7 pts +4 pl 4

5 Chelsea 6 pts +2 pl 4

6 Bristol  5 pts + 1 pl 3


Matchday 5 games see two contenders matchup at Kingsmeadow, while two of the outsiders will play each other at Stoke Gifford.  There might be some big changes at the top by Sunday evening.

Man City v West Ham

Chelsea v Arsenal

Bristol v Birmingham


More information on the Women Ballon d’Or

France Football have announced last week that they would create the women Ballon d’Or trophy, they have given us more information in the magazine’s paper edition.

The new trophy is first mentioned in the editorial and FF says they created Le Ballon d’Or Feminin “because the women are worth it “. They also said the voting system will be exactly the same as the men’s one i.e. journalist from around the world will vote, but they are not the same journo as the ones who are voting for the men’s trophy.

The trophy will be announced on the 3rd of December at the same time as the Ballon d’Or and the Kopa (U-21) trophy. The voting team will be journalists specialized in women’s football from all over the world with FF hoping to gather 40 experts.

The editorial mentions some potential candidates for the trophy “welcome to Ada, Sam Dzsenifer, Amandine, Megan and all the other players. Welcome to the golden family that demand excellence in performance. “ 

The magazine also interviewed Pernille Harder, Ada Hegerberg, Saki Kumagai, Dzsenifer Maroszan, Marta Lieke Martens and Wendie Renard. Those players could and should be candidates for the first trophy.




The magazine quotes women’s football growth as one of the reason as a reason behind the trophy’s creation: “5 000 000 players registered around the world with 165 000 in France alone. TV ratings also growing with 764 million  viewers during the FIFA WWC 2015 and attendance as well with seven games with 50k + fans during the same tournament.”

FF also mentions international tournaments and Leagues: “the Women Champions League,  the World Cup and also the NWSL, the rich US League with strong teams like Orlando Pride, Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign. If over there are players like Megan Rapinoe ( USA), Sam Kerr ( Australia), or Marta ( Brazil), Europe complete the international representation at the highest level with Ada Hegerberg ( Norway), Dzsenifer Maroszan ( Germany), Lucy Bronze ( England), or Amandine Henry ( France). All those players will compete to get a place among the fifteen nominees that will be revealed live on la Chaine l”Equipe and on the 8th of October. “

The winner will be named in a live show on La Chaine l’Equipe on the 3rd of December.

Let’s try to guess who will be the fifteen nominees for the first Women Ballon d’Or. In all logic all the players mentioned in the article should  have a shout. They are in alphabetical order Lucy Bronze, Pernille Harder, Ada Hegerberg, Amandine Henry, Samantha Kerr, Saki Kumagai, Dzsenifer Maroszan, Marta, Lieke Martens, Megan Rapinoe, Wendie Renard.  Those eleven names might be in the list and I believe Fran Kirby is also very likely to be in the Ballon d’Or shortlist as well.

All the names will be revealed in less than a week’s time live on French tv.

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.


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