With the almost instant success of the Manchester City ladies programme, can you believe its only about 4 years old ?- there has been much media interest in why their cross town neighbours Manchester United have not had a professional ladies team since 2005 when they dropped the programme..
Well, the good news is that after all the complaints, they hope to be back in the relative big time very soon, in about 6 months. Man Utd VP Ed Woodward has announced that they have applied to enter a team in the FA WSL 2 league in the autumn for the 2018-19 season. The FA gave clubs that were not already involved in the top two divisions to apply for membership by March 9th. There will be rebranding YET AGAIN by the FA. FAWSL1 will be called Women's Super League while FAWSL2 will be called The Womens Championship. The top tier clubs must be full time professionals.
Crystal Palace and Sheffield United are two new clubs to apply for the second tier and successful applicants will be informed by late May. The United squad woill be based at The Cliff training ground in Salford. According to Woodward " The side must be built in the same image and with the same principles as the mens's first team". I think that Southampton maybe the only EPL club not to have a ladies team.
United have had a successful female programme at the junior level with twelve English and three Scottish players featuring in England squads. There has been a 41% increase in participation in recent seasons with school programmes and a Manchester United Foundation programme. Recently they have been part of the South Manchester League system.
New England women's boss Phil Neville has backed the idea of the new professional team. Last night he was at The Academy Stadium, part of the Eithad Complex across from the Etihad Stadium, to watch Manchester City Ladies defeat Linkopping of Sweden 2-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter finals.
Nikola Parris opened the scoring in the 37th minute from the penalty spot after a Liza Lamb hand ball, for which she was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Jane Ross scored the second in the 55th minute. The return leg is at the Linkopping Arena next Wednesday. The Swedish Damallsvenskan league does not start up for anohter month or so. Also winning 2-0, this time away, Chelsea defeated Montpellier at Stade de la Mosson in South West France in the first leg. Ji So-Yun and Erin Cuthbert scored the goals. Tonight Lyon host Barcelona and Wolfsburg host Slavia Prague in the two other quarter finals.