Why are Bournemouth, Fulham and Brentford’s women’s teams so behind?

For the first time all 12 WSL teams will be affiliated to men’s Premier League clubs, but others are still playing catch-up

Next season, for the first time in the WSL’s 13-year history, every club in the top division of the English women’s game will be affiliated to a men’s Premier League team. It didn’t take long, did it? From starting off as a division which saw Lincoln finish fourth and Birmingham City as runners-up, the makeup of the division has been already transformed completely with Premier League brands.

To some football purists, perhaps, this looming landmark will have seemed inevitable for years, and will represent a gradual and somewhat depressing mirroring of the men’s game; alas, the days when long-established women’s teams such as Doncaster Rovers Belles could challenge for major honours seem long gone. If you found it refreshing that Yeovil Town could reach the top flight – they were in the WSL as recently as 2019 – then presumably this makes you rather gloomy.

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