Daniel Levy has long been a controversial figure in the footballing world, attracting almost constant criticism regarding his role at Tottenham Hotspur. The Englishman has served as Chairman of the North London club since 2001, and his opinions continue to polarise fans 22 years later.
As per the Daily Mail, the 61-year-old has called the structure of the Women’s Super League into question. He is believed to be one of a number of chief executives who feel that scrapping promotion and relegation would help to construct a more ‘competitive and sustainable’ division. The idea revolves around the thought that clubs would invest more into their facilities and squads if the threat of relegation wasn’t at play.
However, Levy’s appeals come as Spurs find themselves threatened by relegation. Spurs currently sit ninth in the 12-team league, just three points above Leicester City. The Foxes currently occupy the sole relegation spot, though they have a game in hand over the North London side – who have won just one of their nine league games since the start of the year.
It’s a concept that’s eerily reminiscent of the European Super League – a project that lasted less than a week after fan-led protests caused clubs to withdraw. Supporters felt that removing the threat of relegation would go against the fundamental principles of football, where competitors remain in the top flight regardless of their on-pitch performances.
Part of the appeal of English football is the idea that any team can eventually make it to the Premier League and write their name in the history books by lifting the trophy. That wouldn’t have been possible with the European Super League – and it won’t be possible if the Women’s Super League decide to implement a ‘closed shop’ format.
The news comes as the future of the WSL hangs in the balance, with the FA set to relinquish control of the league. Both the top-flight and the second tier – currently known as the FA Women’s Championship – will be transitioned to an FA subsidiary company, before ownership is transferred to a private owner with knowledge of sports marketing. The move forms part of the FA’s plan to capitalise on the increased interest in women’s football following the Lionesses’ recent success.