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Manchester United granted place in Women’s Championship

United will join the second-tier competition.

Manchester United’s application to enter a women’s team in next season’s FA Women’s Championship has been approved by the Football Association.

The FA announced their decision on club licence applications on Monday, placing United in the second tier of the competitions along with the likes of Doncaster Rovers Belles and Millwall Lionesses.

Until announcing the intention to form a team in March, United were the only current Premier League club not to have a professional women’s equivalent.

United chairman Ed Woodward said: “The board is delighted that the FA has approved the application.

“Starting a professional team from scratch is challenging for rewarding and we will make every effort to provide the support and experience for the new women’s team to be successful and to uphold the fine traditions of our great club.”

Former England star and current England number two Casey Stoney is strongly tipped to become the first coach of the United women’s team, which will be based at The Cliff, the club’s historic training ground.

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Casey Stoney

Next season’s Women’s Super League will be extended to 10 teams, with Brighton & Hove Albion Women and West Ham United Ladies replacing Sunderland Ladies in the competition.

The future of Sunderland Ladies, who turned part-time and this week revealed losses of over £400,000, remains unclear after the club was also denied a place in the Championship alongside United.

A Sunderland spokesperson said: “Following today’s announcement by the FA, we will take some time to fully consider the options available to us in relation to Sunderland AFC Ladies.”

The decision in respect of which clubs were successful was made by The FA Women’s Football Board, following a detailed review and assessment, and it remains subject to appeal.

Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Head of Women’s Football said:  “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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