Frequently Asked Questions on The FA Women’s Super League
21. Why keep the rest of the game in winter? Wouldn’t it better prepare clubs ahead of potential further expansion to replicate the new format?
The FA is taking one step at a time and the FA WSL will remain at eight clubs playing through the summer in 2012 and 2013.
Understandably, the FAWPL clubs who play top tier winter football and who do not currently form part of The FA WSL wanted the success of a summer league to be tried and tested before considering such a move.
In addition, securing facilities for more women’s clubs who do not own their own grounds to play in the summer remains a challenge whilst the league is in the early stages of its development.
We will continue to work with the clubs and host grounds to endeavour to improve this throughout 2012 and 2013.
22. What is the minimum financial commitment from a club per season?
As a minimum, all clubs will have to match fund the Club Development Fund Award which The FA is making to each club, which is capped at a maximum of £70k per season.
The sample ‘break even’ model in the information pack provided to applicant clubs in 2010 showed a minimum club income and expenditure of c £160k per annum.
23. What will happen when The FA WSL clashes with the Olympics – how long is the break in fixtures?
There will be a six-week break in the fixture programme from 8 July 2012 (after round nine of the league and round three of the Continental Cup) until 19 August 2012.
24. Will other clubs be able to enter this league before 2014?
This cannot be ruled out but only in exceptional circumstances e.g. if a club folds or its licence is otherwise terminated during its two-year (2011 and 2012) or its one-year new (2013) term.
A decision would then have to be taken as to whether or not to replace that club with another club which is able to meet the relevant criteria, for the benefit of the league and its sustainability.
25. Won’t there be a huge imbalance when it comes to those clubs who are ‘bank-rolled’ by men’s teams?
Every club should be meeting the same high minimum standards and, given the robust application and adjudication process and the minimum licence and club operating standards, the imbalance should not be huge.
With quality concentrated in eight clubs, each should be professionally operated, with paid players and support staff.
Inevitably there will be some clubs that are wealthier than others, but this is the case in all team sports – we anticipate that the imbalance for The FA WSL should be less than in many sports, given the availability of the Club Development Fund for all clubs as well as the salary rule of only four players being paid 20k or more.
26. Will The FA be announcing any new sponsors?
Continental Tyres remains a lead FA WSL partner for 2012, and it is also committed to The FA Girls Road shows, promoting women’s and girl’s football via a series of 19 national festivals running from February to October 2012.
The FA will continue to hold discussions with new potential sponsors for the coming WSL season and will work hard with existing FA WSL partners to ensure the league continues to grow, develop, and meet its commercial objectives.
27. How do The FA WSL clubs have an input into the running of the WSL?
The FA WSL clubs have elected two representatives to sit on the FA WSL Management Committee, which deals with the day-to-day management of the league and helps to shape all league matters.
The elected representatives are Vic Ackers (Arsenal Ladies F.C) and Steve Shipway (Birmingham City Ladies F.C).
The FA will also continue to host quarterly all-club meetings to ensure that communications are effective between the league management team and all FA WSL clubs.
28. When will The FA WSL season two commence?
The 2012 season will commence with the first round of The FA WSL Continental Cup on 17/18 March 2012, and the league itself will start on the Easter weekend of 7/8 April 2012.
The first live match takes place on ESPN on Monday 9 April between Chelsea Ladies and Doncaster Ladies.
The fixture schedule has been developed after close consultation with the international management team to ensure that our international players are available to compete both in The FA WSL and for England.
The league will break for six weeks between 8 July and 19 August for The London 2012 Olympics.