The proposed restructure of the WPWL has bought some strong reactions after it was announced yesterday that Abergavenny Women, Briton Ferry Llansawel and Cascade Ladies had all been demoted from the WPWL.
The trio will now all play in the FAW’s new Tier Two division next season being joined by Caldicot Town, Cardiff Bluebelles, Merthyr Town, Talycopa and Swansea University in the Southern section.
Barry Town United and The New Saints were promoted to the top tier as a result of the demotion.
The new pyramid structure sees three divisions of eight with one top-flight league and two regional divisions.
In the North, Wrexham Women, who will receive £50,000 from their high-profile owners, have received a place in Tier Two.
They will be joined by Airbus UK Broughton, Bethel Ladies, Connah’s Quay, Denbigh, Llandudno, Llanfair, Pwllheli, and Wrexham.
As well as competing in the league structure, all 24 clubs will come together to play in a newly formatted League Cup which will include second-tier clubs for the first time.
WPWL Club Representative on FAW Council, Gail Powell, said: “The new structure will have a major impact on development and sustainability and we are looking forward to the new season in 2021/22 with a new look Tier 1, Tier 2 and U19s divisions.”
Lowri Roberts, FAW’s Head of Women’s Football, said: “It’s been inspiring to see the level of work clubs have put into their application. We’ve seen a real shift in mindset from the clubs in how they are developing elite environments for players and how they are building for a sustainable future.”
Andrew Howard, FAW Head of Competitions, added: “Throughout this process we have seen clubs securing significant investment into their women’s programmes and strong commitments in terms of resources being made available within the clubs, from appointing full time staff to long term partnership agreements. Clubs should be very proud of what they have achieved off the field over the last year and we look forward to this exciting new chapter for women’s domestic football in Wales.”
Swansea City Ladies were league and cup winners this season.
It was no surprise to see very much a mixed reaction to the announcement with those demoted clearly angry at the decision made
Club Statement – Enforced Relegation of Briton Ferry Llansawel Ladies pic.twitter.com/k3zSU2SAAv
— BFL AFC (@bflafc) May 31, 2021
Managers Statement pic.twitter.com/4WDKTuqi6o
— Abergavenny Women FC (@AbergavennyWFC) May 31, 2021
Whilst as you expect there was positives from the two sides admitted into the top tier with both Barry Town and The New Saints tweeting their news
— Barry Town Utd Ladies FC (@BTULADIES) May 31, 2021
— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) May 31, 2021
You can expect the fall out from this announcement to rumble on during the course of the summer and can certainly understand the frustration of the demoted clubs who will naturally feel that decisions should be taken on the pitch and not in the boardroom.