Chelsea has been confirmed as Champions of the 2019-20 Barclays FA Women’s Super League after last month’s season ended.
After the coronavirus pandemic saw the top division and the Championship brought to an early halt, the board of the Football Association reached a majority decision to decide the season on a base points-per-game system.
As a result, Chelsea was awarded the Women’s Super League title, finishing second in Manchester City and joining the side of Emma Hayes in qualifying for the Women’s Champions League next season.
Liverpool was relegated to the Championship and will be replaced by Aston Villa, who took the second title on PPG. They made their frustration known at being relegated like this in the Championship, and in such circumstances.
“Liverpool FC is disappointed by today’s decision on how the 2019-20 Women’s Super League season has been concluded, which will see the Reds relegated to the Championship,” the club said in a statement.
Explaining their actions, the FA said in a statement: “The FA board took all decisions and ratified them – and they were based on the most suitable sporting result for the 2019-20 season.
“The FA board considered and analysed all of the recommendations made to them by the FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship board, which were collated after a full and thorough consultation process with the clubs.”
Kelly Simmons, FA director of the women’s professional game, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the clubs for their ongoing collaboration and support throughout this period.
“They have played a crucial role in helping to shape the decision-making process, with the welfare of the players and clubs first and foremost.
“I would also like to congratulate the players, coaches and staff of Chelsea and Aston Villa. Although the 2019-20 season has been prematurely curtailed, it has been a hard-fought campaign and their success is well deserved, with the outcome based on sporting merit.
“Women’s football has made huge strides in recent years, and the FA has been at the forefront of investment and support to help grow women’s football at every level of the game.
“Our commitment to the women’s game is unwavering and we will continue to work closely with the clubs to ensure we come back even stronger for the 2020-21 campaign.”
There will be no promotion or relegation between the Championship and third tier this season as the 2019-20 results were expunged between tier three and seven of the women’s pyramid due to the impact of Covid-19.
The resolution of this season’s Women’s FA Cup remains under review and will be discussed by the FA women’s board later this month with the competition at the quarter-final stage, which have been postponed.
As such Liverpool are dead-set against the current decision: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented huge, ongoing challenges around the world, the majority far more important than football.
“The focus of our women’s team and staff since the beginning of the crisis was to be ready to return to WSL play when it was safe and proper to do so.
“We believe we would have been able to meet all operational requirements but a return to play was deemed impractical. As proud founder members of the WSL, our fans greatly value our position within the league and we hoped for the opportunity to secure our status on the pitch.
“We enjoyed several notable firsts as a women’s team this season – including a first WSL game at Anfield – and we are committed to continuing to grow the women’s game in this country with our fellow teams. We wish all the WSL teams well and look forward to seeing them again soon.”
Meanwhile, the FA is also working with clubs and stakeholders “to plan for next season and we aim to announce the target start dates for the 2020-21 campaign soon”.