The WSL was a great success in England, being the first semi-professional women's league with many enhancements including LIVE TV coverage and highlights.
Listening to feedback and comments it seems the Women's Premier League has improved since the teams left to join the WSL. So all in all a great women's football development in England.
However, towards the end of the Super League it became a two team race to lift the title, which is pretty common in leagues. At the bottom of the table Liverpool Ladies featured a lot of the season with Doncaster Rovers Belles closely above them. The final day of WSL fixtures would confirm the title holders, top of the table Arsenal Ladies were to play bottom of the table Liverpool Ladies. If we are honest even before kick off we knew the outcome of this match so the excitement was lost.
If bottom of the table Liverpool Ladies were fighting to avoid relegation, a win/draw against Arsenal could have saved them from losing a fantastic place/opportunity in the WSL surely the final day of matches would have been even more exciting as Liverpool Ladies really would have had something to play for.
I am not saying the outcome of the match would have been different, but teams will come on to a pitch with a different mindset when you really have something so important (like league survival) to play for.
On the other side Women's Premier League would have even more to fight for if winning the Premier League title meant a promotion into the Super League.
You could even introduce a play-off system where the bottom 2 clubs from the Super League play the top 2 clubs of the Premier League to fight for a place.
The Premier League teams could also have an involvement in the Conti Cup with a proper draw to create the fixtures, it would be exciting/interesting to see the Super League teams against the Premier League teams.
Overall by introducing a link between the Super League/Premier League it could create more excitement and provide more opportunities for more teams and players. I understand there may be a financial aspect to teams that join the Super League, it would be a shame if this was the only criteria that got you into the league though.
What are your views? Leave your comments below
I don't think we're quite at the level to introduce promotion. There are already several gaps between the teams already in the division, and that would only increase.
Look at Doncaster and Liverpool. They only just met the WSL criteria, and really struggled to match many of the teams in the division. The Belles have a great stadium, but can't pay their players very much, and Liverpool struggle to bring players in and keep them, and were making the biggest jump to the WSL.
Crucially, many teams in the WPLNaD didn't meet the WSL criteria, and for some that is still the case, so you could be left with a situation where the league winners can't go up because they still don't meet the criteria.
I think the review stage at the end of next season is a good chance to reassess the league structure. As some have already pointed out, there needs to me more games than the 14 we have now. Until the point where we have more teams in the league, a play-off system similar to the WPS could add more end-of-season interest, and add a few more games to the league ahead of the WSL league cup.
The FA Cup might give an indication of where the current WPL teams are in relation to the WSL, although that could be clouded as it's during the middle of their season, and the beginning of the WSL season.
The WPL has it's own league cup, so if you include those teams into the WSL league cup, it would have to be rebranded, and the WPLC would also suffer, or have to be discarded altogether.
On the point of promotion/relegation adding excitement, that may be the case, but it's a temporary measure. Look at a lot of leagues round Europe, there are many teams who come up, and just can't compete and end up going straight back down with massive negative GDs, and even without a win all season.
Many people who don't follow women's football closely already say there seems to be some huge one-sided scorelines, particularly in the Women's Champions League (but in some leagues also).
That's simply down to the disparity between clubs, the criteria system at least tries to reduce that at the highest level.
Some very good points @ Gareth
I think you are right they need to introduce a similar structure to the WPS at the end of the season to make it more interesting. Also, I think it was unlucky that the final day of fixtures was exactly the same as the first round of cup fixtures this season.
How do you think the Premier League teams will be able to keep hold of their best players and not lose them to the WSL. If there is no chance your team can get into the WSL then a player will easily be tempted to move to a club already in the league and weakening the WPL of top players, which could effect/slow down the development of top level in that league?
Everything in the WSL is still so new, isn't it? The 'pooling' of talent clearly hasn't stopped Arsenal Ladies from dominating again although Birmingham gave them a run for their money. Perhaps it's the teams in the middle we should focus on as examples of what has worked and what hasn't? Teams such as Lincoln who started off weakly then became progressively stronger as the season closed. How does the WSL compare to the US model? Could we learn anything from its strengths and weaknesses?
One of the most disappointing things for me has been the lack of media interest in the WSL. After the initial flurry there's been nothing in the sports' pages. No match reports, no results even. It shows a lack of regard for the women's game. Some papers barely mentioned the World Cup Final. Same old same old.