Manchester United granted FA Women's Championship place with West Ham in Super League

A Manchester United flag flies ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford
Image: Manchester United are joining the FA Women's Championship

Manchester United have been granted a place in the FA Women's Championship next season with West Ham Ladies joining the FA Women's Super League.

A total of 23 licences have been handed out, with West Ham's arrival in the top division taking the number of teams to 11, while 12 will participate in the newly-structured Championship.

United are relaunching a women's team ahead of the 2018-19 season, having scrapped their squad back in 2005.

They are one of five new teams joining the Championship next season, one of those - Charlton Athletic Women - having secured promotion through the play-offs on Sunday.

Leicester City Women, Lewes FC Women and Sheffield United Ladies were also approved during the FA's open application phase.

The FA's Head of Women's Football Baroness Sue Campbell said: "Today's announcement is the result of two years of planning and a milestone within our delivery of The Gameplan for Growth strategy.

"The revised competition structure will positively impact on the delivery of the women's game across all levels, both on and off the pitch.

"Such is the strength of women's football in this country, there have been some difficult decisions to make but they've been made with the sport's best interests at heart. This is a hugely exciting time for the game and I am hopeful that we will look back upon this as one of the most significant decisions made in its history."

Fixtures in both leagues will begin on the weekend of September 8 and 9, with the opening round of Continental League Cup group fixtures kicking off the season on the weekend of August 18 and 19.

FA Women's Super League 2018-19: Arsenal, Birmingham City Ladies, Brighton & Hove Albion Women, Bristol City Women, Chelsea FC Women, Everton Ladies FC, Liverpool Ladies FC, Manchester City Women, Reading FC Women, Yeovil Town Ladies, West Ham United Ladies.

The FA Women's Championship 2018-19: Aston Villa Ladies FC, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Durham Women FC, London Bees, Millwall Lionesses, Sheffield FC Ladies, Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, Charlton Athletic Women, Leicester City Women, Lewes FC Women, Manchester United Women, Sheffield United Ladies.

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