WSL struggling for funds: Arsenal cut women’s team budget, Man United losing manager and players, and more
The Women’s Super League is struggling to find funds to maintain and improve the quality it has been procuring. Despite seeing major improvements in recent times, there seems to be difficulty finding funds for many clubs in WFA. Major teams like Arsenal and Manchester United have taken dire measures to cut financial costs.
CASEY STONEY RESIGNS
Manchester United manager Casey Stoney resigned from her position last month. Shocking as she was tipped as one of the most talented Women’s team managers in the game. It is understood that the resignation comes after not being backed adequately by the top-level management in the club. Despite earning the team Championship glory and then helping them finish fourth in the Super League twice, the club hasn’t done enough to back her cause.
To my players,
To my staff,
To the fans,
Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WQxvWGzXkd
— Casey Stoney MBE 💙 (@CaseyStoney) May 17, 2021
As many players were facing long spells of injury, training was moved to Carrington from Leigh Sports Village. However, Stoney had previously rejected this move as at Carrington, the women’s team had to work their schedule around the men’s training sessions. They were also promised a bettered facility at The Cliff in 2018, but no actions were implemented.
LACK OF TRANSFERMARKET INVESTEMENT
To further the already worse situation, Manchester United have made no efforts to improve their squad. Even though it has nearly been a month since the departure of Stoney, no replacements have been sought after. In a time where they should be making plans for the upcoming season, the club looks like a lost cause without a manager.
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) June 24, 2021
Fans are also unsatisfied with the lack of transfer activity in the club. Tobin Heath and Christen Press have both run out of contracts and will return to their country. Jane Ross and Jess Sigsworth will also follow suit this summer. Amy Turner, their defensive first-choice has signed a contract for Orlando Pride in the NWSL. Lauren James is linked with a move to Champions Chelsea this summer as well.
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) June 24, 2021
With United set to lose out on several key players, their ambitions of a Champions League berth next season seem brim. There has been no major signing that has been linked to arrive at the club and fans are getting worried about the state of affairs. The club is not showing any sort of interest despite making claims of improvement. With still two months left for the start of the season, we may see an improvement.
ARSENAL SHUTS DOWN WOMEN’S PROGRAMME
Despite finishing third in the league, it is understood that Arsenal has made drastic measures regarding their Women’s programme. The club has decided to close down its Women’s Player Development Programme. The programme was designed to help improve players aged between seven and fifteen. Paving a path for these young talents to make it into the professional stages through these programmes.
The standard of these assists tho… *chef’s kiss* 👩🍳
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) June 25, 2021
Many young athletes have been devastated by the decision of the club, with nearly three hundred girls being affected. No sessions were taken place since the pandemic and citing commercial and financial reasons. Hence, the club has decided to shut down the programme. The academy will still be functional and might start to include younger age groups as well.
“The review confirmed that Player Development Programmes provide a grassroots football provision which is now better suited to our award-winning Arsenal in the Community department. The details of the programmes that will be suitable for PDP participants will be shared once confirmed.” – According to The Telegraph
@ChelseaFCW win the Women's Super League!
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) May 9, 2021
The club has informed that they will conduct trials for the young girls that were in the PDP programme for selection into the academy. However, many parents believe that they haven’t got their money’s worth. Many young athletes also feel like their aspirations of a career in the sport might also be in jeopardy due to the decision.
BRISK OF HOPE AMONG THE CHAOS
London Club Chelsea are among the few to put out some encouraging news ahead of the next season. The club is among one of the most successful women’s team in the sport. They have won the Community Shield, Continental League Cup, back-to-back Barclays FA Women’s Super League titles. The Blues made history as they sold out tickets in just over two weeks since the allocation.
After record breaking sales, we're delighted to announce that Chelsea Women's 2021/22 season tickets are sold out for the first time in the club’s history. 🙌
We can't wait to welcome fans back to Kingsmeadow! 💙
— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) June 25, 2021
Guy Laurence, Chelsea Chief Executive, commented: ‘The Women’s team have had a hugely successful and historic season, and it’s great to see that the achievements on the pitch mean more fans want to come down to Kingsmeadow to enjoy the games in person’ – (Chelsea FC Official Site)
With BBC and Sky Sports taking on broadcasting responsibility from the upcoming season, there is likely to be more exposure for Women’s football. Enabling such better accessibility will help the future of Women’s football and is an encouraging step forward.