Bristol Academy to rebrand as Bristol City Women's FC

Bristol Academy
Bristol Academy were relegated from Women's Super League One in 2015

Women's Super League side Bristol Academy are to be rebranded as Bristol City Women's FC for next season.

Bristol were relegated to WSL 2 last season and have asked for the Football Association's permission to be renamed.

The Vixens will still play at Stoke Gifford Stadium but will be independent from Championship side Bristol City.

"This is a very positive development for the club which will secure top-flight women's football in Bristol," said Academy chairman Simon Arnold.

"The women's game in England has developed significantly over the last five years and to compete we have to become professional on and off the pitch.

"It was becoming increasingly difficult to do this as a club without the help of a professional club's marketing, commercial and supporter base.

"We have been working with our partners at Bristol City FC and Bristol Sport Limited for a number of years and it was the right time for them to embrace the women's game and put their resources behind the club."

Bristol City's executive director Doug Harman added: "It is a significant milestone in the history of both clubs.

"We have seen many Premier League teams welcome the women's development of the game and embrace the top-flight women's team in their respective cities - Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea to name but a few."