Women's Super League: Chelsea champions and Liverpool relegated as clubs agree outcome

Relegated Liverpool "disappointed" by decision to conclude season; Aston Villa promoted from the Women's Championship

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Sky Sports News' Jessica Creighton reports as the Women's Super League season is decided on a points-per-game basis, meaning Chelsea are champions and Liverpool are relegated

Chelsea have been crowned champions of the Women's Super League, overtaking Manchester City on a points-per-game record, with Liverpool relegated as clubs agree on a conclusion to the 2019-20 season.

The WSL and Women's Championship seasons were ended with immediate effect last month and all clubs were given three options to resolve the final standings.

The finalised Women's Super League table based on points-per-game
Image: The finalised Women's Super League table based on points-per-game

At the point of the league's suspension in March, Manchester City were top of the WSL on 40 points from 16 games while Chelsea were a point behind having played one fewer game.

Clubs have selected option one, which sees the tables decided on a basic points-per-game system and also means Aston Villa are promoted as champions of the Women's Championship.

Liverpool Women
Image: Two-time WSL champions Liverpool have been relegated to the Women's Championship

Option two would also have used a points-per-game system, but with no relegation and an expanded 13-team WSL next season, with Villa promoted.

The third and final option was for the WSL and Women's Championship seasons to be voided, which is the decision the FA had already taken with the third tier and below of women's football.

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Former England international Sue Smith says she is shocked the Women's Super League season has been decided on a points-per-game basis

Liverpool, who won the WSL title in 2013 and 2014, said they are "disappointed" by the FA's decision to conclude the season, adding: "We hoped for the opportunity to secure our status on the pitch."

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With no promotion or relegation between steps three and seven on the women's football pyramid, there will be no relegation from the Championship.

The WSL table as it stands
Image: The WSL table as it looked at the point of suspension in March

Chelsea have now completed a domestic double, having lifted the League Cup in February, beating Arsenal 2-1 in the final.

Chelsea and Manchester City have also been confirmed as the two English teams selected for next season's Champions League.

Last year's WSL champions Arsenal miss out on a European place after finishing third in the league this season.

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FA's director of the professional women's game Kelly Simmons explains why the WSL season was cancelled and reveals when it will return

The FA has also confirmed the new WSL season will begin on the weekend of September 5 and 6. It is also hoped the transfer window will open on June 19, closing on September 10.

The resolution of the 2019-20 Women's FA Cup, which is at the quarter-final stage, is still under review and the FA Board will meet to discuss the matter later this month.

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Watford and Wales striker Helen Ward says the lack of financial backing in the Women's Super League sends a bad message to younger generations

In a statement, Kelly Simmons, the FA's director of the women's professional game, said: "Firstly, I would like to thank the clubs for their ongoing collaboration and support throughout this period. They have played a crucial role in helping to shape the decision-making process, with the welfare of the players and clubs first and foremost.

"I would also like to congratulate the players, coaches and staff of Chelsea and Aston Villa. Although the 2019/20 season has been prematurely curtailed, it has been a hard-fought campaign and their success is well deserved, with the outcome based on sporting merit.

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Aston Villa Women's head coach Gemma Davies say the most exciting prospect of promotion to the Women's Super League is the players will be able to play full-time next season

"Women's football has made huge strides in recent years, and The FA has been at the forefront of investment and support to help grow women's football at every level of the game. Our commitment to the women's game is unwavering and we will continue to work closely with the clubs to ensure we come back even stronger for the 2020/21 campaign."

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