The women’s championship season kicks off this weekend, with 12 clubs hoping to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United, Aston Villa and Leicester City and make it to the Women’s Super League.
A competitive year awaits – and here are some of the key scenarios you should keep an eye out for …
Charlton Athletic has invested big. Can they go back to where they were before?
On the same day Charlton Athletic Women contested the 2007 Women’s FA Cup final, in front of 24,000 at Nottingham City Ground, their male counterparts were relegated from the Premier League. The budget cuts that followed saw the entire Charlton Women’s organization disbanded, and their then captain, Casey Stoney, best summed it up with the words: “The men are being relegated and we are being punished. Like the events of Notts County a decade later, Charlton has become a mori memory for those worried about the balance of power between the men’s and women’s teams in clubs.
In the years that followed, Charlton struggled to shed this unsavory chapter in its history, but the past few months have seen the most important steps forward. In February, Danish entrepreneur Thomas Sandgaard – who bought Charlton Athletic last September – agreed with President Stephen King to also take over Charlton Women, bringing the men’s and women’s teams together for the first time since their fateful split 14 years ago. years.
Sandgaard’s intervention was accompanied by true full-time professionalism at the club for the first time. A sound marker of their progress in the interim is that the best pitch of manager Karen Hills’ playing days – the former Spurs Women’s head coach played for Charlton until 2007 – is now considered unsuccessful. used only as a parking lot.
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