Yesterday saw the FA’s plans for the restructuring of the women’s football pyramid made public, with Crystal Palace left out in the cold at the expense of Manchester United, despite the latter having never kicked a ball in a competitive fixture.
@FA @FAWSL how the hell can you justify decisions for restructure of the women’s leagues?@PalaceLadiesFC finished THIRD and didn’t get a WSL or WC place. Yet West Ham finished 7th are in WSL, Lewes finished 5th are in WC and Utd never had a team and are in WC! #joke #shambles pic.twitter.com/yXEQBiSGp7
— Sean CPFC (@SH20CPFC) May 28, 2018
Ahead of the new campaign, Crystal Palace had hoped to take part in the newly re-worked second tier of the women’s game but have been informed that they will not be granted a place, despite finishing third in their division last season. With both West Ham and Lewes finishing below the Eagles and winning places in the Super League and Championship respectively, representatives of Palace Ladies have every right to be peeved but it is the inclusion of Manchester United which truly calls the process into question for many.
It may surprise many given their stature on the global stage but until March of 2018, United didn’t even have a women’s team. Fast forward two months and the Reds have now been given a place in the second tier of the game at Palace’s expense; a decision which highlights the uphill battle clubs like ours are fighting against the superpowers of the English game on all fronts.
For all the hard work that has been put in by those behind the scenes at Palace Ladies to be ignored in favour of a group who weren’t even an official entity three months ago stinks to high heaven. Put quite simply, the impartiality of the FA must be called into question when discussing the matter, given the haste with which they’ve ditched Palace in favour of the more easily recognisable brand.
If years of hard graft can be so easily overlooked by those officiating the game as a simple consequence of Manchester United suddenly deciding they fancy a kickabout, it leaves many wondering if the FA’s loyalties do indeed align with the Reds on other issues too. Some of you may not be too bothered one way or another but for me, this is a matter which deserves to be exposed as blatant favouritsm from the body who are expected to uphold the moral integrity of the game across the country.