Sheffield United manager welcomes ‘common sense’ decision to end women’s season

Carla Ward manager of Sheffield United Women. Picture: Harry Marshall/SportimageCarla Ward manager of Sheffield United Women. Picture: Harry Marshall/Sportimage
Carla Ward manager of Sheffield United Women. Picture: Harry Marshall/Sportimage | Sportimage
With the “commonsense” decision to call off top-level women’s football finally made, Sheffield United manager Carla Ward can focus on what she expects to be an even more competitive Women’s Championship next season.

Along with the Women’s Super League, the second tier of the England’s female pyramid was abandoned with immediate effect yesterday following “overwhelming feedback” from clubs.

Although there are still issues to resolve, Ward is glad of the clarity.

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“I think common sense has prevailed,” she said. “It’s been increasingly unlikely the season could be completed. The important thing was the longevity of the game.

“It allows us to close the door on one season and concentrate on the next. Particularly for the players, from a mental point of view everyone understands where we are. It’s probably a little bit overdue, but teams can now concentrate on next season.”

Yorkshire’s highest-ranked female side were second in the Championship, six points behind Aston Villa with as many games to play.

With only one promotion spot, the Blades are sure to be in the second tier again in 2020-21.

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Despite the uncertainty surrounding the club’s finances with the men’s Premier League still hoping to play on, Ward says she can plan with confidence.

“We are not sure when we can sign players, we’re still waiting to hear from the FA,” she said, “but the club have given us reassurances throughout. ‘Faultless’ is probably the word for how they’ve handled it.

“It’s going to be a difficult season. There’s probably two or three more clubs going full-time.

“We will keep going about our business the way we have for the last few years. It’s not all down to money, it’s down to the backing you get so hopefully we can be right up there with the big spenders.”

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