FOOTBALL: BIRMINGHAM City Ladies’ application to join the new FA Tier 1 women’s football competition has been successful.
The announcement means that Blues Ladies will continue to play at the highest level in this country.
In September the FA announced major restructuring plans and new licensing criteria for the women’s game.
From the start of the 2018-19 season, the current FA WSL 1 will be expanded to a top tier of up to 14 teams with full-time professional players.
A new national league is to be established at tier 2 of the pyramid providing a semi-professional, part-time environment allowing for a maximum of 12 teams.
Blues applied for Tier 1 status and received the good news from the FA.
The application process was extensive with the club having to submit documentation to prove it met all of the FA criteria.
This included robust financial, business, commercial and marketing plans alongside details of support services for players such as medical, sports science and performance analysis provision to ensure an elite environment.
There will also be a new academy structure at Tier 1 to extend and enhance the talent pathway, ensuring appropriate high-quality player development and increased support (including dual career opportunities) for the 17-20 age group.
Heather Cowan, Blues Ladies general manager, said: “I’m so pleased for everyone involved that we have been awarded this Tier 1 licence and that we can maintain our position as a top-flight club.
“This is critical for the profile of the game locally and the development of talented young players in our system.
“We are hugely excited about what the future holds.”