Chelsea have been crowned champions of the Women’s Super League, overtaking Manchester City on a points-per-game record, with Liverpool relegated as clubs agree on a conclusion to the 2019-20 season.
Relegated Liverpool “disappointed” by decision to conclude season; Aston Villa promoted from the Women’s Championship
The WSL and Women’s Championship seasons were ended with immediate effect last month and all clubs were given three options to resolve the final standings.
At the point of the league’s suspension in March, Manchester City were top of the WSL on 40 points from 16 games while Chelsea were a point behind having played one fewer game.
Clubs have selected option one, which sees the tables decided on a basic points-per-game system and also means Aston Villa are promoted as champions of the Women’s Championship.
Option two would also have used a points-per-game system, but with no relegation and an expanded 13-team WSL next season, with Villa promoted.
The third and final option was for the WSL and Women’s Championship seasons to be voided, which is the decision the FA had already taken with the third tier and below of women’s football.
Liverpool, who won the WSL title in 2013 and 2014, said they are “disappointed” by the FA’s decision to conclude the season, adding: “We hoped for the opportunity to secure our status on the pitch.
“With no promotion or relegation between steps three and seven on the women’s football pyramid, there will be no relegation from the Championship.
Chelsea have now completed a domestic double, having lifted the League Cup in February, beating Arsenal 2-1 in the final.
Chelsea and Manchester City have also been confirmed as the two English teams selected for next season’s Champions League.
Last year’s WSL champions Arsenal miss out on a European place after finishing third in the league this season.
The FA will now work with clubs and their stakeholders to plan for next season and are aiming to announce the target start dates for the 2020-21 campaign soon.
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The resolution of the 2019-20 Women’s FA Cup, which is at the quarter-final stage, is still under review and the FA Board will meet to discuss the matter later this month.
In a statement, Kelly Simmons, the FA’s 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.”