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MANCHESTER UNITED manager Casey Stoney believes the decision to end the Women’s Super League season is the “right decision for the safety of everyone involved.”
A statement today afternoon confirmed weeks of speculation that the 2019/20 WSL and Women’s Championship will not be concluded.
The Football Association’s statement revealed that the decision to end the season was following “overwhelming feedback from the clubs” and that they wil now listen to the WSL and Women’s Championship boards to determine a decision on how the sporting outcomes will be decided.
When the season came to a grinding halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, United were sitting fourth and manager Stoney said that this was the best course of action.
“It’s obviously disappointing not to be able to complete the season, but it is the right decision for the safety of everyone involved,” Stoney said in a statement via Manchester United’s official website.
“Our focus now moves to our development for next season, which we have been continuously planning for throughout the year, and we can’t wait to be back on the pitch again when it is safe.
“I’m so proud of how hard my players and staff have worked throughout the season and how they have adapted to the last 10 weeks of training away from the club, their determination and drive have been incredible to witness.
“We’ve enjoyed our first season in this league, exceeding expectations while staying true to our values, but we still have big ambitions for how we want to move forward as a club.
“I’d also like to thank the fans for their incredible support this season and for sticking by us through these uncertain times. We can’t wait to see you again, whenever that may be, but for now, stay safe and continue looking out for each other.”
Despite men’s major league’s across Europe planning to return next month, the German Bundesliga resumed last weekend and Women’s Bundesliga will continue this weekend, the likelihood of the women’s game in England finishing the season was slim.
The FA said this resolution was made “in the best interest of the women’s game” and that this will allow clubs to “plan, prepare and focus on next season.”
The FA statement said: “The FA Women’s Super League & Women’s Championship Board has today confirmed the decision to end the 2019-20 season for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship, with immediate effect.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the FA Women’s Super League & Women’s Championship Board has been in regular consultation with clubs and key stakeholders from across both leagues to identify the most suitable and appropriate way to conclude the 2019-20 season, and to give clubs and players the clarity and support they need at this time.
“Following overwhelming feedback from the clubs, the decision to bring an end to the 2019-20 season was made in the best interest of the women’s game.
“This will also enable clubs, the FA Women’s Super League & Women’s Championship Board and the FA to plan, prepare and focus on next season when football returns for the 2020-21 campaign.
“Supporting the welfare of the clubs and players will continue to be our primary concern throughout this process, which also involved a robust and thorough examination of the logistical, operational and financial challenges that the game currently faces.
“Following full and thorough consultation with the clubs, the FA Women’s Super League & Women’s Championship Board has discussed various recommendations which will be sent to the FA Board to determine the most appropriate sporting outcome for the 2019-20 season.
“This will include identifying the entries for the 2020-21 Uefa Women’s Champions League, which would be based on sporting merit from the 2019-20 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season.
“We are not in a position to comment further until the FA Board has had sufficient time to consider all of the recommendations and options.”
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