Women’s Super League – injured players face sack after three months

The Women’s Super League restructured last summer to become “Europe’s only fully professional league”, according to the FAWomen’s Super League players can be sacked by clubs with three-months’ notice if they are out injured for as little as that length of time. Danish newspaper Politiken published the clause, which features in standard contracts issued by the Football Association to all WSL players.Premier League players can be sacked if they are injured for 18 out of 20 months, with six to 12 months’ notice. The FA says the clause is to meet the “unique demands” of the English game.English football’s governing body says the WSL, which is “Europe’s only fully-professional league”, had to introduce “bespoke measures to support the sustainability of elite-level women’s football in England”.It said the contract was “developed in consultation between the FA, clubs and the Professional Footballers’ Association to shape a player contract that the women’s football pyramid could financially sustain”.”It differs from men’s professional football, which is more established and better suited to accommodate the additional financial liability of long-term injuries to players.” It added that a new “consultative group” would be set up in 2019 to review and update the contract according to the needs of the wider game.In theory, England and Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs could be sacked from her position with three-months’ notice after injuring the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee last Sunday. It is an injury which could keep her out for six to nine months.There is no suggestion Arsenal plan to activate this clause and the BBC has been told no club is yet to activate it.In the contract, the notice period is issued for “long-term injuries” which are deemed as little as three months.The notice period can also be served from when the injury is first diagnosed rather than when the player has been on the sidelines for three months. But one WSL manager told BBC Sport that no big club would sack a player in this instance based on the value of the player and the reputational damage it could cause. The boss believed that the clause would be more beneficial to teams who have fewer financial resources at their disposal. The FA added: “The FA has put record levels of investment into every level of women’s football in England as part of its ‘Gameplan for Growth’ strategy, with the aim to double the number of women and girls taking part in football by 2020.”

The Women’s Football Contract clause, as printed by Danish newspaper Politiken

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