Following concerns raised by the QPR1st Supporters Trust, the club has confirmed to The Trust that despite previously announcing its intention to apply for a position in the Women’s Super League for next season, that they will no longer be putting in a bid.
The application process to join the WSL will not re-open until 2018 – a move that will now set back Ladies football at QPR for many years as they will not be able to progress further than their current position. They will effectively be locked out of being able to reach the highest competitive level available in the UK.
The WSL will expand for the 2014 season from one division of eight teams to two divisions of up to 20 clubs – with promotion and relegation between the two divisions.
The news means that QPR Ladies, who currently compete in the FA Tesco Women’s Premier League, will likely lose all of its key players to WSL clubs and struggle to attract those of the standard required to play in the league pyramid beneath the WSL after it’s restructured. The club confirmed its intent to support and look to develop a QPR Ladies team that will compete in the structure below the WSL.
The Trust would like the club to outline their commitment to the Ladies teams in more detail and including use of the new training ground facility and make a pledge that when the application process re-opens that we will be in a position to put in a solid bid for inclusion into the WSL. The Trust would also like to remind the club of its responsibility to the QPR community and the value in social inclusion and equality – whether it’s QPR adults or children – male or female. The supporters expect a level of fairness, dignity and respect shown to all of its own and for the image and reputation of QPR to be protected and upheld.
The Trust has sponsored several QPR Ladies players over the past few seasons and offered to assist the club with their application, so is bitterly disappointed by this decision. Portsmouth, a club in administration – and other teams in divisions below QPR Ladies have signalled their intent to put in bids and they will all leapfrog the QPR Ladies team if successful. The club needs to develop a plan to ensure the strength of QPR Ladies future. The Trust will continue to support the Ladies team and will be happy to assist the club in its work with QPR Ladies.