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Women’s Football Undergoes Large-scale Changes

It’s been an eventful end to the season in women’s football as two Premier League clubs have made ground-breaking progress, securing their place in top-tier leagues.

A restructure of the women’s leagues has seen clubs have to reapply for their places before a second, open application phase. Manchester United have ended their 13-year absence from the senior women’s game, being awarded a licence to join the Women’s Championship at the beginning of the 2018/19 season alongside the likes of Charlton, Sheffield United and Leicester.

Similarly, West Ham have been named as one of the 11 teams in the Women’s Super League. With those in the prestigious league having to adhere to new, full-time criteria including running a youth academy, the full 14 spaces were not filled in the Women’s Super League, despite the league being enormously oversubscribed.

This large-scale reshuffle of teams has seen many high-profile teams prove unsuccessful in their applications, with Sunderland, Watford and Oxford dropping out of England’s top two tiers and Southampton, Crystal Palace and Derby County failing to make the leagues. It is however expected that these teams will be offered spots in the new Women’s National League, the third tier.

The 2018/19 season will kick off on 18-19 August with the first group fixtures of the Continental League Cup, while the WSL and Championship campaigns will begin on the weekend of the 8-9 September.