Today, the FA announced that they will be restructuring the WSL 1 and WSL 2 leagues next season. The new rules stipulate that every team in WSL 1 league must have full-time professional players. Depending on how many teams qualify, there can be up to 14 teams in the league (as opposed to the 10 they have now).
So, what does this mean for Everton Ladies?
They can’t be relegated! This is a huge relief for a team just brought back into the top league. The first year back can be tough, and historically, newly brought up teams in the WSL1 have tended to go right back down after one season. Everton Ladies have made it clear that they are aiming to be competitive this season, but it is a reassuring to not have to worry about relegation.
All teams must apply to make it into the top tier and Everton Ladies are very likely to make the cut, considering they have already transitioned to full-time, professional players — and had to apply for and were granted a place in WSL 1 this season.
The FA emphasized that this will make the league more competitive and increase TV coverage — and hopefully fan interest as a result.
The WSL will have a new name next season as part of a rebranding strategy.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the WSL renamed as the Women’s Premier League. The league’s schedule now mirrors the men’s and there is pressure on the league to have the same big name teams involved. Rumor has it the league wants to make it easier for Manchester United to instantly join the top league, should they form a women’s team.
The FA is considering adding a cash prize incentive for this season.
Make that money, Blue Girls!