By Richard Cawley
Crystal Palace Ladies says they are “hugely disappointed” after failing to secure a place in the new-look Championship next season.
The Eagles had applied for a tier two place for the 2018-19 campaign.
But instead Manchester United, who only recently announced they would be running a women’s team again after a 13-year absence, have secured a Championship spot.
Southampton and Derby were also unsuccessful while West Ham United moved straight into the top flight.
Palace Ladies chairman Richard Spokes said: “Despite what has been described as a credible and strong application, it has been decided, by the FA, that the bid by Crystal Palace Ladies FC, was edged out by others in the final decision process.
“The club, and we are sure, the entire Crystal Palace FC family, are hugely disappointed in the decision made, following a bid based on, footballing provenance and progression throughout the FA pyramid, integrity, incredible support, sustainability and innovation.
“At this time, the club awaits feedback from the process, to establish the areas that affected the final decision and will study these as a means of assessing immediate and future opportunities.
“There is a sense of overwhelming disappointment across our club, as much based on a real belief that we were ready for this transition and had presented a viable and credible case for this. As a club, we have developed, and will continue to do so, within the FA structure, providing a fit for purpose, compliant and resilient system, geared towards the commitment of the FA to the women’s game and our playing at the highest levels possible.
“It remains the intention of Crystal Palace FC to be a significant part in the future of women’s football and we will all, therefore, work our hardest to ensure that our ambitions are recognised and met at the earliest opportunity.
“The club would like to thank every person who assisted in the bid process, many of whom willingly gave very valuable free time to do so. It is this spirit and our place within a club that has the passion, heart and desire of Crystal Palace FC, that will enable us to see our ambitions, rightly achieved.”