After years of debate, one stuttered start and months of speculation, sixteen clubs made applications for places in the new FA Women's Super League, to be launched in March 2011. Be it by hand, by courier or police escort, the applications were successfully presented before the December 18th, 5pm, closing date deadline.
Assuming, and we are being positive about this, eight clubs meet the criteria required for the league then an optimum of eight licences will be offered to the strongest applicants. This will be decided by March 2010, which gives all clubs a full 12 months to prepare for the launch of The League. (The FA Women's Super League is a working title and not necessarily the finished name, just in case you were wondering.)
Ten of the twelve current top flight clubs have applied, with Blackburn Rovers and Watford opting not to do so. Of the other six applicants, four are from the Northern Division and two from the Southern.
The full list of applicants is:
Arsenal, Barnet, Birmingham City, Bristol Academy, Chelsea, Colchester United, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton, Leeds Carnegie, Leicester City, Lincoln City, Liverpool, Millwall Lionesses, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland.
The FA's Chief Executive, Ian Watmore, a big backer of the proposed league, said: "We are delighted with the number of bids we have received from clubs who wish to be part of The Women's Super League in this country.
"This is a very strong indication that the vision we have of creating an elite League that will take our domestic game to a higher level is shared by many people within women's football. We now have to work hard to ensure we have a comprehensive and thorough review process of all bids received and we look forward to announcing the successful clubs in 2010."
Check back with www.shekicks.net to hear more from each of the 16 clubs and a little more about their bids to be part of the revolutionary summer league.