The Women’s Super League season is almost certain to be cancelled, according to a report in the Independent from Miguel Delaney. No WSL games have been played since 23rd February due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an international break in early March, but it looks as though the clubs and the FA will decide not to try and play out the season.
The pressure for broadcast money is not as pressing an issue in the WSL, where BT Sport and the BBC only pay costs to show live games currently. The resources required for mass testing of players are also harder to come by for most clubs. Reading Women, for example, have been furloughed and bringing them out of furlough for behind closed doors matches would surely not make economic sense for them.
The women’s football calendar looks very congested over the next few seasons due to the postponement of the summer Olympics, with Japan 2021, the Euros in England in 2022, the World Cup in 2023, another Olympic tournament in 2024 and another Euros in 2025. Focus on making 2020-21 as “normal” as possible is an understandable priority.
According to the Independent, the decision to curtail games for the 2019-20 season is “an inevitability” with the method for finalising the table now to be discussed. Arsenal are in a delicate position in 3rd place, outside of the two Champions League qualifying spots, but only 4 points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand. If the table were to be decided by points per game, Montemurro’s side would finish in 3rd place in the table behind Manchester City and Chelsea.
Arsenal were also due to play an FA Cup quarter-final against Spurs in March and a Champions League quarter-final tie with Paris Saint Germain. A decision is still to be made on how the Champions League will be settled, but with football prohibited in France until September 1st, it seems very unlikely that tie will go ahead. The decision to cancel the WSL follows on from League 2 clubs deciding to cancel their own season earlier on Friday.