The FA has recently released a new plan for women’s football. Their aims are pure. They want to double the participation and fan base for both women’s and girls’ football. They aim to increase the profile and media coverage of ladies’ football matches which in turn will support the development of sustainable women’s clubs. The FA would like the top tier of women’s football to play full time. Yet to achieve this the FA have stated that by the 10th of November the clubs who would like to play in the professional tier of women’s football must submit £350,000. For many teams who have funding through the successes of the men’s teams such as Chelsea Ladies FC this sum will not be a problem. However, for teams such as Yeovil ladies, this sum may end their current top tier career.

Yeovil ladies are a relatively small club in comparison to those they play alongside with in the current top women’s league, but they have managed to fight their way to the top by winning the WSL 2 in the summer of 2016. But even with this huge feat they are unlikely to achieve the £350,000 goal by the 10th November despite their goal to become a professional women’s club through a three-year time span. Adding to the pain felt by Yeovil ladies, West Ham Ladies who are currently in the third tier of women’s football have confirmed their plans to join the top tier. Jumping up and over those who are currently playing in the leagues above, just because they do have enough money to achieve the financial target the FA has set.

The large changes the FA are putting in place for the next season of women’s football look to create a positive future for women’s football. They are making advances towards increasing both numbers of spectators and players across England, but these changes may contribute to the setback of many underfunded clubs. As a female footballer myself, I along with others have mixed feelings on the methods the FA is using to achieve their goal. Mia Dennis, a Carlshalton Athletic female player told me “I understand that the FA has good intentions for women’s football, but I think this system can be abused by those who have funding, which is unfair to those who have worked years to get where they are now.”

Despite the mixed reactions to the changes the FA have made, I am excited to see what will happen in the upcoming season.

Morgan Grover Ursuline High School