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West Ham United will join the restructured Women’s Super League from next season

The Football Association have announced a restructure to the women's leagues for the start of the 2018/19 season in September that will see West Ham United join the Women’s Super League.

West Ham United will join the new 11-team, full-time Women's Super League for next season the Football Association announce following a league restructure.

Current top-flight side Sunderland will drop out of England’s top two tiers altogether as existing clubs had to reapply for their places, before a second, open application phase.

Chelsea were crowned champions this term and will compete against newcomers, and London rivals, this campaign with all Women’s Super League clubs now required to be full-time and to run a youth academy.

The 2018/19 campaign kicks off on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of September and BT Sport will again be showing the very best domestic action from the women’s game.

If you’re not yet a BT Sport subscriber – the exclusive home of the Champions League and Europa League next season – we can get you set up in just 15 minutes right here!

There was space for up to 14 teams to participate in the Women’s Super League next term but West Ham were the only newcomer that met the requirements.

Despite finishing bottom, without a win all season, Yeovil will remain in the league and be joined by Brighton & Hove Albion who were already assured of their place having successfully bid for a WSL in the first closed phase of applications last summer.

The women’s top flight calendar will run alongside the men’s for the 2018/19 campaign and the FA is also introducing a new 12-team semi-professional second tier.

Manchester United end their 13-year absence from the senior women’s game by becoming one of five new teams joining the Women's Championship.

Along with the Red Devils, Charlton, Leicester, Sheffield United and Lewes will also be added to the second tier.

Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Head of Women’s Football said: “Today’s announcement is the result of two years of planning and a milestone within our delivery of The Gameplan for Growth strategy.

“The revised competition structure will positively impact on the delivery of the women’s game across all levels, both on and off the pitch.

“Such is the strength of women’s football in this country, there have been some difficult decisions to make but they’ve been made with the sport’s best interests at heart. 

“This is a hugely exciting time for the game and I am hopeful that we will look back upon this as one of the most significant decisions made in its history.”

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