At the end of this season, it finishes. It is all over. No more.
I speak of course of the FA Tesco Women’s Premier League of 12 clubs. The winner of the league will be the final winner, because that’s it. What happens between May 2010 and March 2011 I am not sure – there will be some sort of intermediate competition I suppose.
At the end of last year 16 clubs applied to be in the new FA Women’s Super League, (they are great at names at the FA) launching in March 2011.
Eight will be selected by the FA to play in the League with the results announced next month. The initial applicants were…
Arsenal Ladies FC, Barnet FC*, Birmingham City Ladies FC, Bristol Academy Women’s FC, Chelsea Ladies FC, Colchester United Ladies FC*, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton Ladies FC, Leeds Carnegie Ladies FC, Leicester City FC*, OOH Lincoln Ladies*, Liverpool*, Millwall Lionesses FC, Newcastle United Women’s FC*, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland Women’s FC.
The * shows clubs that are not currently in the Premier League. Of those in the Premier League Watford have not applied, and nor have Blackburn. Leeds Carnegie who this season won the League Cup and who are currently lying fourth in the league with a very impressive record, have now pulled out.
Leeds Carnegie are the team who used to play as Leeds United. Then the club was taken over by new owners and they distanced themselves from the women’s team, and asked them not to use the Leeds United name, nor its colours.
At the same time as the bids, the FA also announced a deal to televise Women’s Football, with ESPN getting the rights to The FA Cup, the Super League and England Under-21s.
But (so insiders say) there will be contentious choices in the Super League line ups when the eight clubs are announced next month.
Barnet have done very well in the Southern Division this year – they are currently top (the league below the Premier League is split in half with a northern and southern division), and they claim to be confident.
As with the early Football League when clubs like Chelsea got a place without having a team or a club because the league wanted to make the number of London teams up, so there is a feeling that geography is important. With Watford not bidding that keeps the southern team numbers to three – Arsenal, the Women’s KGB and Millwall.
But there is talk that Sunderland might not get a place – although that would be strange. They are currently top of the league – although they have played more games than anyone else.
The current top positions are
- Sunderland played 16, points 31
- Arsenal played 10 points 27
- Doncaster played 14, points 23
- Leeds played 9, points 22
The big challengers to Arsenal’s never-ending run of success last year were Everton, and the league championship was settled at the very end of the season. This year however Everton have played 8 and already lost 2.
Arsenal however have had a problem. Vic Akers left as manager after having set up the club 22 years ago (or something like that) and a replacement was found – but he has just resigned so they have had another change around. Arsenal also got knocked out of the League Cup early on this year, and they are finding it harder, having lost some of the top players to the American league last year.
I know most fans never think of going to see Arsenal Ladies, except maybe watching the FA Cup Final, but it is worthwhile. The crowds are small (maybe 1000 to 2000) and the games are at small non-league venues, but against that, Arsenal have scored 46 goals in 10 games – which is not bad going. When we’ve gone, Jane and I have enjoyed it.
If you ever get a chance I’d urge you to go along. Details of matches are of course on the Arsenal.com site.
RUMOURS of the RUMOURY kind
Experts have just spotted the first Yaya of spring. The Yaya is normally not seen until April, when it is predicted that the Yaya will transfer to Arsenal in the summer. But a siting this early can only mean a period of utter desperation has settled in to football journalists. “I’ve never ever seen a Yaya this early,” said expert Yaya spotter, Ima Cuckoo. “This is quite remarkable. If the Yaya start appearing any earlier I will have to go looking for dog kennels.”
Holland except to pick Robin Van Persie for a friendly in April. “Why shouldn’t we?” said Hardly Van Anyone, the manager. “The mere fact that he has been crippled twice while playing for us, is not our fault, is it? And it is not as if they were important matches anyway.”
Arsenal will sign the entire Ajax squad this summer following positive reports from Dennis Bergkamp.
Kamil Zayatte of Hull wants to go to Arsenal. “I hear it is a beautiful example of late 19th century tube line architecture, and I have long hoped to see it.”
EPL owes more money than the rest of Euro football combined.
Should the top clubs from smaller countries move into Euro Leagues?
Arsenal win the league: the start of the new golden era.
Why did Arsenal move to Highbury, and not somewhere else?
(c) Tony Attwood 2010.