AHEAD OF THE GAME: Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy pushes for promotion and relegation to be scrapped in the WSL, while Sky rue their misfortune of not broadcasting either Premier League clash between title rivals Arsenal and Man City
- Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is calling for changes to be made in the WSL
- The Spurs chief is in favour of the WSL being a closed shop without relegation
- Also, tensions continue to rise between the Premier League and the FA
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is lobbying for promotion and relegation to be scrapped in the Women’s Super League in favour of a closed competition.
The future of the elite women’s competition is up in the air, with a new company being formed to run the WSL independently from the FA after next year and two separate governance reviews of the sport taking place simultaneously — one led by the Government and the other by the clubs.
Levy is understood to be one of several executives who believe that the best way for the sport to grow is to focus building a more competitive, sustainable top flight, arguing that clubs would invest more in players and infrastructure if they were not concerned by the threat of relegation.
Promotion and relegation have been in place in the WSL since 2014, with Bristol City, Birmingham and London City battling to secure the one promotion place from the Championship this season.
Tottenham are not safe from relegation, as they are just two points clear of bottom club Leicester, although that is not thought to have influenced Levy’s thinking.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy (pictured) has pushed for changes to be made in the WSL
There have been calls to scrap relegation and promotion within the Women’s Super League
Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham is chairing a working group on the women’s professional game, with the aim of having a new structure in place for the 2024-25 season.
SKY’S BIG-MATCH BLACKOUT
Sky Sports have been left cursing their bad luck after missing out on both Arsenal v Manchester City title clashes this season despite being the Premier League’s main rights-holder. Arsenal’s trip to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday is on BT Sport, who will screen all 10 midweek games this week, and the reverse fixture at the Emirates in February was live on Amazon Prime.
Sky pay the Premier League £1.2billion for the right to televise 128 matches each year, with BT and Amazon coughing up just £500m between them for their 72 matches, but have found themselves without the biggest two games of the season as both fell during midweek.
Sky’s deal gives them the first pick of games on every weekend round, but they do not have any of the four midweek match rounds, which are shared between BT and Amazon. The midweek rounds are determined randomly by a Premier League algorithm before the start of the season so the broadcasters have no say.
FA DO BATTLE WITH TOP FLIGHT
The simmering tension between the Premier League and FA has increased during talks about the creation of the independent regulator and negotiations over changes to the post-Brexit work permit requirements for foreign players.
Premier League executives have privately disclosed that they feel the FA could have done more to help them fight off Government regulation, and on the work permit issue, last month’s comments from Gareth Southgate about the lack of England-qualified players available to him was badly received by the league and certain clubs.
Both Southgate and his employers are opposing the Premier League’s attempts to make it easier to sign foreign players. For their part the FA are unhappy about the lack of money offered by the Premier League to the women’s and grassroots game in their ‘New Deal for Football’, and the governing body are also fighting attempts from clubs to force the abolition of all FA Cup replays in talks over the post-2024 calendar.
Sky Sports have been left cursing their luck after missing out on screening both games between title races Arsenal and Man City
WREXHAM PLAYERS HIT JACKPOT
Wrexham’s players will share bonuses of £200,000 if they secure promotion to League Two by beating Boreham Wood this evening, having chosen to forgo win bonuses during the season. Phil Parkinson’s squad backed themselves to gain promotion by agreeing that they would only receive win bonuses if they were in the top three throughout the campaign in return for getting a bigger pay-out if they achieved their goal.
YEMS TAKES STEPS TO RETURN
John Yems will be permitted to return to management as soon as his extended three-year ban for 12 cases of using discriminatory language expires in 2026.
The former Crawley manager has already completed an education course so the FA would not stop him from returning to the dugout should he have any job offers.