Women's Super League: Teams confirmed for WSL and Championship after appeals

WSL trophy
The Women's Super League has been running since 2011

There will be 11 teams in the Women's Super League and 11 in the Championship after the appeals process ended without any changes to the licences previously awarded by the Football Association.

Sunderland and Blackburn's appeals were among those to be turned down, while the BBC understands there was at least one further unsuccessful appeal.

The revamped leagues will kick off on the weekend of 8-9 September.

Every side in the top flight will be required to meet professional criteria.

The final list of clubs in each division - released by the FA on Tuesday - confirmed that Sunderland will drop down to the third tier, the new FA Women's National League.

The Lady Black Cats, who finished seventh in the WSL One last season, were the only top-flight side not to be awarded a spot in either of the top two divisions for 2018-19.

They did not apply in last year's initial, closed application process, but did so in the second, open phase of applications in the spring, but were omitted when licences were awarded in May.

West Ham were moved up to the full-time WSL from the third tier, while Manchester United were among five clubs to join the second tier.

Blackburn won last season's third-tier Northern Division but lost May's third-tier play-off to Charlton, who subsequently did earn a licence.

"Naturally everyone is disappointed by the decision and the club will now look at how to move forward with its commitment to women's football," a Sunderland statement said.

"The club will continue in its support of women's football and they have accepted a place within the FA Women's National League."

The 2018-19 teams in England's top two women's leagues
FA Women's Super LeagueFA Women's Championship
ArsenalAston Villa
Birmingham CityCharlton Athletic
Brighton & Hove AlbionCrystal Palace
Bristol CityDurham
ChelseaLeicester City
LiverpoolLondon Bees
Manchester CityManchester United
West Ham UnitedSheffield United
Yeovil TownTottenham Hotspur

Since the initial licence announcement, Doncaster Rovers Belles and Sheffield FC both withdrew from the Championship for financial reasons.

Crystal Palace subsequently filled one of the vacated spots, having met the licence criteria and been deemed to be next in line to come up from the third tier.

All the clubs in the top two tiers will also take part in the Continental Tyres Women's League Cup, which will begin on the weekend of 18-19 August.

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