With twelve teams in the Women's Championship, the second division of women's football in England is incredibly competitive. The league is a ticket to the Women's Super League with one side being promoted every year, and more teams than ever are now fully professional.
In the past, the Women's Championship has been the stepping stone for teams like Manchester United, Tottenham and Aston Villa to reach the WSL. Whilst those sides represent some of the biggest Premier League sides, the Women's Championship contains a huge variety of clubs.
The club with the lowest ranked men's side in the Women's Championship is Lewes. The Sussex side have been widely praised for having the same budget for their men's and women's sides, with the men's side playing in Isthmian League Premier Division, the seventh tier of men's football.
There are also a number of independent women's teams in the Women's Championship. Durham Women have been one of the most successful in the division, with their support coming from Durham University. Coventry United and London City Lionesses are also run independently from men's sides having ended their prior relationships with Coventry City and Millwall respectively.
One of the most surprising clubs in the Women's Championship is Liverpool. The Merseyside club won back to back WSL titles in 2013 and 2014 but have struggled in recent years. They were relegated from the WSL at the end of the 2019/20 season and were unable to bounce straight back.
Liverpool are not the only historic big name in the league with both Charlton and Sunderland also being in the division. Charlton were one of the most successful women's clubs in the country at the start of the 21st century, winning the FA Cup in 2005. However, when their men's side were relegated from the Premier League, their funding was cut. They have recently gone professional in an attempt to reach the heights they were previously at.
Sunderland has been better known as the club that developed some of the biggest English names in women's football. Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Jordan Nobbs, and Carly Telford were all part of their academy. This is their first year in the Women's Championship having dropped down the divisions, like Charlton.
Teams in the Women's Championship
- Blackburn Ladies
- Bristol City Women
- Charlton Athletic Women
- Coventry United Ladies
- Crystal Palace Women
- Durham Women
- Lewes Women
- Liverpool Women
- London City Lionesses
- Sheffield United Women
- Sunderland Ladies
- Watford Women
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