Lewes Chief Executive Maggie Murphy has questioned proposals put forward by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy that there should be no relegation or promotion to the Women’s Super League.
Murphy, who has a vested interest as she runs a Women’s Championship club, claims the change would hinder the development of the women’s game in many parts of the country:
“There are 12 teams at the top, two-thirds of which are based out of three cities – London, Birmingham and Manchester. We’re basically deciding [by closing off the competition] that English club football in this country is going to contract into a very small number of spaces.”
“I think [the proposal] doesn’t understand the ecosystem involved in women’s football, where you need to have 400 women’s clubs that are active and thriving and generating talent that can be sold to WSL clubs, to Championship clubs. So I think there’s a lack of understanding of the ecosystem that’s involved.”
Levy hasn’t formerly proposed the changes to the WSL yet but he is said to be among a number of executives who believe a closed shop would be better for the financial stability of the English top flight.
However, the WSL’s chair, Dawn Airey, has recently predicted that the WSL could be worth £1 Billion within the next decade, due to the growth of the women’s game in the UK.
Following the Lionesses’ success in the European Championships last year, attendances have skyrocketed so, from that point of view, taking a drastic step such as ending relegation may not be needed.