What are shocking and, if true, an utter disgrace, are reports that the current leaders of the women’s Premier division, Sunderland, have been excluded from this elite.
The FA has been responsible for plenty of crass decision-making over the years. This is not just crass but supremely unjust.
The chairman of the Sunderland ladies, Maurice Alderson, has been told of the decision, which he describes as a “kick in the teeth”, according to a report in The Guardian.
He pointed out that a strong bid was assembled with help from Sunderland AFC. As well as being current league leaders, albeit having played more games than the clubs closest behind them, Arsenal and Doncaster Belles, Sunderland – (pictured last season, by courtesy of Sunderland WFC) -reached last season’s FA Cup final and have nine current internationals at various age levels.
The Sunderland Echo says the club was told the bid had failed on commercial and marketing grounds. The Guardian was unable to elicit a meaningful comment from the FA beyond an assertion that the adjudication stage of the application process was not yet complete.
Either the FA is, er, being economical with the truth or Mr Alderson is somehow mistaken in stating that the club has not only been excluded – but has been told of the decision.
The FA deserves a sincere apology if the reports turn out to be incorrect – but owes the Sunderland, North East (Newcastle ladies were also excluded) an abject apology of its own if really has taken a decision of staggering injustice.