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2019-20 Women’s Super League season to end next week after FA talks

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There does not appear to be a path forward to completing the WSL and Women’s Championship seasons.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

On a day that saw League Two vote to end their season (with three teams promoting to League One this fall), women’s football in the UK is now likely to end their season as well. Sky Sports is reporting that after talks with Football Association officials, the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship are both likely to end their seasons in a vote to be taken next week.

The financial obstacles of resuming the season behind closed doors along with maintaining the health and safety of the players means it doesn’t make sense to try and finish the season.

There’s no word on what will happen with promotion and relegation. Currently, Liverpool are at the bottom of the WSL and Aston Villa have a six-point cushion at the top of the Championship. I’m not sure if Villa is a professional club but if they are assuming one club goes down it’s likely that it’d be Liverpool, with Villa replacing them next season. That is, however, also assuming that the season is not declared null and void. If it is, it is likely then that everything would stay the same, including teams qualifying for the Champions League at the top of the table.

It’s obviously sad for the league and for women’s football, as interest was definitely growing in the sport and attendances were up. There were a number of high profile women’s matches that were played at large men’s stadia such as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Stamford Bridge this season as well. But just like with the men’s side, player safety is paramount. The stated reasons behind the league deciding to cancel does seem to imply that the Premier League’s dogged determination to continue to work towards resumption has more to do with money than with any other factor, however.

Regardless of whether the season ends or is nullified, Tottenham Hotspur Women were fantastic in their first year in the top flight. They will end the season in sixth place with 20 points from 15 matches, making them almost indisputably the surprise team of the WSL this season. While they weren’t able to get that elusive first win over one of the top WSL clubs, they were competitive in several of them (notably a 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the opening week of the season). They beat the teams below them in the table, and established themselves as one of the clubs in the chasing pack behind Arsenal, Chelsea, City, and Manchester United. That’s nothing to scoff at and there’s lots to build on for next season.

Co-managers Karen Hills and Juan Amoros have laid down a marker this season, and even if Spurs Women need to repeat their inaugural season next year, they’ve shown that they belong at this level.