The FA have confirmed that the WSL and Women’s Championship have had their seasons ended with immediate effect.
Some form of sporting merit will be used to decide the Champions League places, which would likely see Chelsea and Manchester City qualify for the competition, with third placed Arsenal just missing out.
However, the FA are yet to confirm whether the league’s remaining loose ends will be tied up. Here’s what could be left unresolved…
The Title Race
This season’s three-horse title race between Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City has been a particularly intriguing affair that we will now not get to see played out in full – and may not even have a winner confirmed.
Man City led Chelsea by a single point, but Emma Hayes’ side had a game in hand. The pair played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the final game before football was suspended, leaving proceedings tantalisingly poised at the top.
Arsenal were four points behind City, but had also played one game fewer.
While Chelsea were the only remaining unbeaten side, they were also the only team to drop points to teams outside of the top three – drawing at Brighton and Liverpool.
With seven games still to play, this title race surely had another twist or two left. Will Chelsea be awarded the league on PPG despite currently sitting in second place?
The Golden Boot
This season’s battle to be top scorer has been even tighter that the title race, with Chelsea’s Beth England and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema tied on 14 goals each.
Miedema currently leads due to providing four more assists than the Chelsea forward – however six of the 23-year-old’s goals and four of her assists did come during one stunning individual performance when Arsenal battered Bristol City 11-1.
Miedema versus England is a battle of effortless natural ability – which the Dutch striker has possessed in buckets since bursting onto the scene as a 15-year-old – versus sheer hard graft – with England fighting through loan spells and doubters to emerge as one of the league’s finest forwards.
While Miedema was the PFA Player of the Year during Arsenal’s title winning campaign last year, this season England has arguably been the player for the big occasions. She had popped up with vital (and often sensational) goals time and time again for the Blues, who would not be league champions elect without her.
The Golden Boot battle is fascinating for the neutral, but let’s face it, Miedema probably couldn’t care less.
The Relegation Battle
Some teams had played just 60% of their league games before football was suspended. Will sides be relegated on the basis of 60% of their fulfilled fixtures?
The battle at the bottom had been unfolding nicely; Bristol seemingly couldn’t buy a win, before suddenly beating Manchester United and Birmingham in the space of a month.
Liverpool finally got off the mark with victory over Bristol, and the one thing you could rely on with the Reds was that while they struggled to score, they rarely conceded more than one. They then lost 4-2 to West Ham.
Birmingham were in a pitiful run of form, but had just dismissed manager Marta Tejedor and installed Charlie Baxter as interim boss before the league’s suspension.
Just three points had separated the bottom three with plenty of football still to be played. Will Liverpool be relegated while their male counterparts celebrate their maiden Premier League title?
Best of the Rest
Manchester United were clinging onto the ‘best of the rest’ bragging rights before football was suspended, but were in a little mid-table cluster alongside Reading, Everton and Tottenham.
United also still had the visits of Manchester City and Chelsea and a trip to Arsenal on the horizon, leaving plenty of time for the chasing pack to capitalise.
The quartet have spent all season taking points off each other and being labelled ‘dark horses’. But who actually was the superior team?
The Impact of Nick Cushing’s Departure & Alan Mahon’s Appointment
Man City’s new interim boss Alan Mahon had taken charge of just two league games before football was suspended, after replacing Nick Cushing in February.
He was yet to confirm whether he was eying up the job on a permanent basis, but he may now never get a full audition for the position.
Whether allowing Cushing to depart to the States during the blood and thunder of the WSL campaign would impact the title race will now remain a hypothetical question.
If relegation is scrapped, what does this mean for promotion?
Aston Villa sat six points clear at the top of the Championship, taking 40 points from a possible 42. Sheffield United were six points behind with six games left to play.
The pair had already beaten Liverpool in the Continental Cup this season, demonstrating they were both capable of rubbing shoulders with those in the WSL.
The FA have a history of reshuffling the leagues not on the basis of sporting merit. Could we see an expanded WSL next year, or will both Villa and Sheffield United miss out entirely?
Battle at the Bottom
If you thought the WSL relegation battle was tight, cast your eyes over the lower echelons of the Championship.
Charlton currently occupy bottom spot, but just three points separate them from Blackburn, four places above.
The Addicks have also played two fewer games than second bottom Coventry, who sit just one point clear of the drop zone. It’s too tight to call, but someone may have to.