Manchester United have finally got round to applying to the FA to establish a women’s football team.
Actually, that should read ‘re-establish’. Indeed, United did have a women’s team, right up until the point the Glazers assumed ownership of the club in 2005 and almost immediately disbanded the women’s side on the assumption that it wouldn’t be profitable.
Anyway, with the women’s game perhaps more prominent than ever (no doubt Man City’s success was a catalyst), United have filed the relevant paperwork with the FA in the hope of introducing a new professional team into the WSL2 – the second tier of the Women’s Super League.
United vice-chairman Ed Woodward told the club’s official website:
We are pleased to announce that the club intends to establish its first ever professional women’s team and has submitted an application to enter WSL2.
The FA has provided excellent support through the process and we believe that launching a team in WSL2 would give many more of our graduates from the Regional Talent Club the chance to establish themselves as first-team players.
The Manchester United women’s team must be built in the same image and with the same principles as the men’s first team and offer academy players a clear route to top-level football within the club.
Basically, local girls who dream of one day pulling on the United shirt in a professional capacity can now see a direct route to the top for the first time in, well… ever.
That’s definitely a good thing, though United still have to have their application weighed up against bids from a number of other clubs – Charlton, Coventry, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Leicester, Lewes, Sheffield United, Watford – with the FA granting permits to just five of them.
A decision is due in May, so stay tuned.