The FA has agreed that there will be a rebalancing of the number of teams in FA WSL 1 and FA WSL 2 for the 2017-18 season.
Following Notts County folding their women’s team, the decision has been made to continue with 10 FA WSL 1 teams for the forthcoming 2017-18 season, which begins in September, ensuring there is even numbers in both divisions.
FA WSL 2 clubs are now able to apply for the remaining place in FA WSL 1. The application process will require clubs to demonstrate how they will meet the additional licence criteria, financial and staffing requirements of FA WSL 1.
As clubs had not been aware at the start of the FA WSL Spring Series that a place in FA WSL 1 would become available, along with the importance of clubs being equipped on and off the pitch to compete in the top division, it was decided that a full application process should take place.
The five elements of the application will be weighted for assessment purposes as follows: finance and business management (30 per cent), players, staff and youth development (30 per cent), facilities (20 per cent), marketing and commercial (15 per cent) and 2016 and Spring Series on-pitch performance (5 per cent).
Clubs must submit their application by midday on Tuesday 30 May. The decision will be made in early June, before confirmation of the successful club’s new league place at the FA WSL AGM on Wednesday 28 June.
FA WSL 2 was due to have 11 teams for the 2017-18, with the winner of The FA Women’s Premier League Play-Off due to receive promotion into the division.
Blackburn Rovers will play Tottenham Hotspur at The Valley on Sunday 28 May.