Women’s Super League targets September start following confirmation of this season’s league placings
The Women’s Super League is targeting the weekend of September 5-6 for the start of the new season after confirming league placings for the 2019-20 campaign on Friday.
On a points-per-game system, Chelsea were crowned champions while Liverpool were relegated and Championship leaders Aston Villa were promoted.
The transfer window will now open on June 19 and not close until September 10, Laura O’Sullivan, the Football Association’s head of league operations has said.
In a statement on Friday, Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of the women’s professional game, said they had been hopeful of an earlier return but the health and welfare of all involved was integral to the decision.
She said: "We looked if we could come back earlier, but we want to put in place the right pre-season for the players.
“We want to make sure we protect them from injury, having been out for so long.
"That [5-6 September] is a Fifa men's international fixture slot at the moment. That's when we launched [the season] last year and had a fantastic impact.
“The other thing about August is it looks like the Uefa Women's Champions League completion tournament might land there, so that's one to watch,” she added.
Simmons was hopeful this year’s FA Cup could be completed but remained realistic that it would probably be once the season had started and that further discussions would need to be had.
She said: "I am passionate about bringing it back and we have got to have a discussion with the women's football board next week, we have got to check in with Fifa about completing competitions in a different season.
“The reason I want to be back is we know that the Women's FA Cup delivers big audiences globally and domestically and it's the pinnacle, the highlight of the women's domestic calendar, and it would really help make sure we come back strongly and continue to put women's football back on the map."
It is expected that the season will get underway behind-closed-doors and there is no decision as to when crowds will be permitted to attend live matches.