Helen Ward: Wales and Watford forward says women's football must 'save clubs'

Forward Helen Ward has scored 42 goals for Wales in 70 internationals
Forward Helen Ward has scored 42 goals for Wales in 70 internationals

Wales' record goal-scorer Helen Ward fears more women's teams could fold due to the financial effects brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Women's Super League and Women's Championship seasons were ended on Monday, bringing an end to all English pyramid women's football this campaign.

AFC Fylde disbanded their women's side in April as a cost-cutting measure.

"Women's football is going to have to come together to do as much to save as many clubs as possible," Ward said.

"It's going to be a real tough time for the men's teams in League One and Two and below, so for women's teams it's going to be no different.

"Especially clubs that don't have the backing of a (men's) Premier League side, they're going to be struggling more than most.

"Even the ones that are attached to Premier League teams you never know what's going to happen.

"So it's going to be a really, really tough and challenging time for everyone involved."

Despite the financial uncertainties, Ward - who plays for Women's National League Southern Premier Division side Watford Ladies - believes it was the correct decision to end the season now.

"It is the right move to be honest," Ward, 34, who has scored 42 goals from 70 internationals, told BBC Sport Wales.

"I don't know if I'd be comfortable or not (returning to play this season) because the decision has been taken out of our hands, so I've not had to think about it.

"My season got voided a while back now, so I've not had to get my head around coming back.

"I've got two young children so my decision might have been different to a lot of other players, but it certainly wouldn't have been an easy decision for anyone if it was on the table."

The outcome of the WSL title and promotion and relegation issues are still to be decided.

Should final places in the Women's Super League be decided by an unweighted points-per-game ratio, Chelsea would climb above Manchester City to go top.

"It's a really tricky one. I do think Chelsea have been the best team in the league this season and I do think if the season had been finished they would have gone on to win it," Ward said.

"But of course that's not guaranteed just because of how they were playing; it would be really tough on Man City and on Arsenal as well.

"If that had happened in our division we wouldn't have won the league, so then it's something I wouldn't have agreed with.

"It's a really hard one but I don't know how else you can do it."

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