GLASGOW City FC plan to lobby for a place in an expanded English league because they feel women’s football isn’t moving forward quickly enough in Scotland. But their hopes of a switch south face stiff opposition from the English FA.
The move has similarities to Rangers and Celtic’s long-held desire to leave Scottish football and Glasgow City chairwoman Carol Anne Stewart said last night: “Joining the Women’s Super League is something we discuss regularly and we talked to them before the league started in 2011.
“They have a television deal with ESPN and it is believed there is a much better one in the offing. Given the ambitions of our club it would be naive not to want to be part of that, if it was possible.”
The FA-backed Women’s Super League is expanding from eight to 20 clubs next year, with a second division being created.
Glasgow City, who play English champions Arsenal in a pre-season friendly at Petershill Park on Sunday, have won the Scottish Premier League for the last six seasons and haven’t been defeated in a league match since November 2008.
They lost two internationals – Jane Ross and Emma Mitchell – to Swedish and German clubs but, because City are an amateur club, Uefa rules meant they were not due any compensation payments.
“You have to imagine we would do even better if we had money to pay players or were able to compete at a higher level domestically in the Women’s Super League,” added Stewart.
Unlike men’s football, Uefa have already sanctioned a cross-border women’s league in Belgium and the Netherlands. But an FA spokesman said last night that applications for their extended league will currently only be accepted from English clubs.
“That is really disappointing and surprising,” said Glasgow City club manager Laura Montgomery. “When we talked to the WSL, there was never any suggestion that being a Scottish club would be an obstacle if we wanted to apply in the future.”