FA consider extending Women’s Championship season following storms

Katie Whyatt
FA consider extending Women’s Championship season following storms - PA
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The Football Association is considering extending the Women’s Championship season to accommodate the fixture backlog caused by Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara. 

The FA entered into correspondence with Championship clubs last week to discern whether a possible two-week extension on the original date – Sunday April 26  would be welcomed after every single game in the top four divisions was postponed due to Storm Ciara. The impact of Storm Dennis was felt on Sunday’s FA Cup fixtures, with Crystal Palace’s game against Brighton being postponed. Palace had earlier been forced to replay their match against Southampton Women’s FC after the initial tie  which Palace had been winning 3-0  was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. 

The part-time Championship clubs are now awaiting a decision from the FA. It is understood that Women's Super League clubs have not been consulted given that, as fully-professional sides, it is in theory easier for them to accommodate postponed fixtures into vacant midweek slots. Doing the same would be harder for Championship clubs given the majority of players in the division balance football with full-time jobs or study. 

Nine Championship games have been postponed this season and 13 in the WSL. A Chelsea source last week lamented that the club had incurred “considerable expense” in travel and hotel costs after their game against Manchester United was postponed on Sunday February 9, while Palace likewise feared losses over the aforementioned FA Cup tie.

The Women’s Super League, the top tier of women’s football, is due to finish three weeks later than the completion of the Championship, on May 16. The FA Cup final takes place on Saturday May 9. 

An FA spokesperson said: "We are talking to clubs about rearranging fixtures that have been postponed, and are exploring if an extension to the Women’s Championship season is required with consideration to what is in the best interests of players, clubs and women’s football.”