WSL season could have been saved with more support, says Watford striker Helen Ward
The FA, which runs WSL and Women's Championship, cited financial costs and logistical problems as reasons for being unable to resume; discussions over how to end season remain ongoing
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 03/06/20 3:30pm
The cancellation of the Women's Super League and Women's Championship season sends a bad message to young female footballers and more could have been done to save the campaign, according to Watford and Wales striker Helen Ward.
Both competitions were brought to a premature conclusion last week to allow clubs to prepare for next season, with no matches played since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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That is despite some women's leagues - such as those in Germany - having already returned, while women's football is also due to restart in America in June.
The FA, which runs the WSL and Women's Championship, cited financial costs and logistical problems as reasons for being unable to resume. Discussions over how to end the season remain ongoing.
Former Arsenal and Chelsea forward Ward, who currently plays for Watford in the Women's National League, told Sky Sports News: "I do feel like there could have been more done to support the women's game financially and otherwise.
"It's great to see that women's football has returned in Germany, showing that it can be done and maybe there are lessons to be learned."
Asked what message the WSL's curtailment sends to young female footballers, Ward said: "Not a good one. It makes it look like the money all goes to men's football, as it always has and it looks, to them, like it always will.
"There are girls out there now who want to grow up and become professional. That was never an option in my day but it is now and it needs to remain an option.
"For that to be the case, we need to have a little bit more support when it is needed and help grow it so that eventually we can sustain ourselves.
"There are establishments and clubs that can afford to help the women's game much more than they do.
"When you look at the Premier League, with the amount of testing that needs to be done and the way that training grounds are now sacred areas, it would have been a very difficult place to get back to for women's football.
"I think it needs to be settled on sporting merit and it is difficult to award things at one end of the table and not have circumstances at the other.
"It's sad that it's had to end this way but now the focus needs to be on working out when we can start again and hopefully be stronger than before."