The 2019–20 FA Women's Championship was the second season of the rebranded FA Women's Championship, the second tier of women's football in England. It was renamed from the FA WSL 2 which was founded in 2014. The season began on 18 August 2019.
|Goals scored||247 (3.34 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||15 goals|
Katie Wilkinson, Sheffield United
|Biggest home win||Sheffield United 7–1 Leicester City|
(25 August 2019)
|Biggest away win||Crystal Palace 0–6 Aston Villa|
(15 September 2019)
London City Lionesses 0–6 Durham
(29 September 2019)
|Highest scoring||Sheffield United 7–1 Leicester City|
(25 August 2019)
On 13 March 2020, in line with the FA's response to the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced the season was temporarily suspended until at least 3 April 2020. Following further postponements, the season was ultimately ended prematurely on 25 May 2020 with immediate effect.
On 5 June 2020, Aston Villa, who sat six points clear and had gone unbeaten in the season so far, were awarded the league title and promoted to the WSL on sporting merit after The FA Board's decision to award places on a points-per-game basis. Despite finishing last, Charlton Athletic were spared relegation after the seasons from tier three and below were null and voided and results had been expunged.
Twelve teams were originally scheduled to compete in the Championship for the 2019–20 season, an increase of one team from the previous season. This was a planned progression of the restructuring of the English women's game, a move prompted to provide for a fully professional Women's Super League (WSL) starting with the 2018–19 season. Membership of both the first and second tier is subject to a license, based on a series of off-the-field criteria.
However, at the end of the 2018–19 Championship the top two teams, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, gained promotion to the WSL. They were scheduled to be replaced by Yeovil Town, who were relegated from the WSL after finishing 11th in the 2018–19 season but the team was denied a license in May 2019 and instead granted third tier status. The two promoted teams were Blackburn Rovers, the winners of the 2018–19 FA Women's National League Northern Division, and Coventry United, the winners of Southern Division. As a result, the competition shall run with only 11 teams for the second consecutive season.
No teams were relegated from the Championship following 2018–19 season to facilitate the expansion from 11 to 12 teams. However, because 11 teams only contested the 2019–20 season, the winners of the National League North and South divisions will both once again be promoted while one Championship team will be relegated.
On 13 May 2019, a Millwall FC statement announced the Lionesses team was no longer affiliating itself with the men's team, instead forming an independent and fully professional breakaway team called London City Lionesses for the start of the 2019–20 season with the aim of transferring the operating license of the old Lionesses team. Millwall also announced their intention to retain its own women's team with the support of the Community Trust, eventually contesting the season in the fifth tier Eastern Region Women's Football League.
|Aston Villa||Boldmere||Trevor Brown Memorial Ground||2,500||6th|
|Blackburn Rovers||Bamber Bridge||Irongate||3,000||WNL North, 1st|
|Charlton Athletic||Bexley||The Oakwood||1,180||3rd|
|Coventry United||Coventry||Butts Park Arena||4,000||WNL South, 1st|
|Crystal Palace||Bromley||Hayes Lane||5,000||10th|
|Durham||Durham||New Ferens Park||3,000||4th|
|Leicester City||Quorn||Farley Way Stadium||1,400||7th|
|Lewes||Lewes||The Dripping Pan||3,000||9th|
|London Bees||Canons Park||The Hive Stadium||5,176||8th|
|London City Lionesses||Dartford||Princes Park||4,100||N/A|
|Sheffield United||Chesterfield||Proact Stadium[a]||10,504||5th|
- Opening three home games played at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Position in table||Incoming manager||Date of appointment|
|London Bees||Rachel Yankey||Resigned||13 May 2019||Pre-season||Lee Burch||9 July 2019|
|London City Lionesses||Chris Phillips||Sacked||15 October 2019||4th||John Bayer (interim)||15 October 2019|
|Lewes||Fran Alonso||Signed by Celtic||14 January 2020||8th||Simon Parker||14 January 2020|
|Coventry United||Stuart Wilson||Sacked||20 February 2020||9th||Jay Bradford||20 February 2020|
In a change from the previous season, there was a one up one down system between the WSL and Championship meaning only the first placed team would be automatically promoted subject to obtaining a licence instead of two, with one WSL team relegated to take their place. Still with a view to expanding the top two tiers to twelve teams each by the start of the 2020–21 season, one Championship team would have been relegated and replaced by the winners of both the National League North and South divisions regardless of the result of the Championship play-off but again subject to obtaining a licence. However, while the movement between the WSL and Championship was honoured, there was no relegation or promotion between the Championship and National League after the seasons from tier three and below were null and voided and results had been expunged.
|1||Aston Villa (C, P)||14||13||1||0||39||11||+28||40||2.86||Promotion to the WSL[a]|
|4||London City Lionesses||15||8||2||5||25||24||+1||26||1.73|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored
(C) Champion; (P) Promoted
- Dependent on obtaining a licence.
- As of 23 February 2020
|1||Katie Wilkinson||Sheffield United||15|
|2||Melissa Johnson||Aston Villa||12|
|3||Jade Pennock||Sheffield United||10|
|4||Shania Hayles||Aston Villa||8|
|5||Olivia Fergusson||Sheffield United||7|
|8||Natasha Flint||Blackburn Rovers||6|
|Emma Follis||Aston Villa|
|10||Paige Bailey-Gayle||Leicester City||5|
|Ashleigh Goddard||Crystal Palace|
|Amber Hughes||Coventry United|
|Shannon O'Brien||Coventry United|
|Aimee Palmer||Sheffield United|
|Lauren Pickett||London Bees|
Results of Manager of the Month as awarded by the League Managers Association. Number of awards in brackets. Results of Player of the Month voting as polled by FA Women's Championship. Number of nominations in brackets.
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month||Ref.|
|August||Gemma Davies||Aston Villa||Melissa Johnson||Aston Villa|||
|September||Lee Burch||London Bees||Molly Sharpe||Durham|||
|October||John Bayer||London City Lionesses||Jade Pennock||Sheffield United|||
|November||Carla Ward||Sheffield United||Amber Hughes||Coventry United|||
|December||Gemma Davies (2)||Aston Villa||Katie Wilkinson (3)||Sheffield United|||
|January||Lee Burch (2)||London Bees||Sarah Quantrill||London Bees|||
|February||Paige Bailey-Gayle||Leicester City|||
|Golden boot||Katie Wilkinson||Sheffield United|
|Golden glove||Sian Rogers||Aston Villa|
|Player of the season||Katie Wilkinson||Sheffield United|
|Manager of the season||Gemma Davies||Aston Villa|
- "Women Competition the FA". womenscompetitions.thefa.com. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Association, The Football. "Decision made to postpone professional football until Friday 3 April at the earliest". www.thefa.com.
- "Statement: FA Barclays WSL and Women's Championship season ended". womenscompetitions.thefa.com.
- "Coronavirus: WSL, Championship cancelled". ESPN.com. 25 May 2020.
- "Chelsea named Women's Super League champions, Liverpool relegated". BBC Sport. 5 June 2020.
- Association, The Football. "Chelsea Women awarded Barclays FA WSL title and Aston Villa win Women's Championship". www.thefa.com.
- "WSL fixtures release". BBC. August 1, 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Tottenham Hotspur won promotion to the Women's Super League with a 1–1 draw at Aston Villa which confirmed they will finish second in the Championship". BBC news. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Yeovil Town Ladies hope for 'new chapter', after avoiding administration". BBC Sport. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Yeovil Town Ladies: Championship licence denied and club to go down two tiers". BBC. 17 May 2019.
- "Donnelly: A fitting way to end". Blackburn Rovers FC. April 2, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Champions". Coventry United LFC Twitter. April 14, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Explained: WSL, Champions League and Promotion-Relegation rules". Daily Cannon. January 21, 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Club Statement: Millwall Lionesses". www.millwallfc.co.uk.
- Cawley, Richard. "Millwall confirm that Lionesses will break away from their affiliation – and play under a new name next season". South London News.
- "Row as Millwall Lionesses split with club to form breakaway side". Evening Standard. 14 May 2019.
- "London City Lionesses: Millwall Supporters Club "saddened" by women's team breakaway". BBC. 13 May 2019.
- "Rachel Yankey: England legend says she chose to leave London Bees head coach role". 2019-05-13.
- londonbees (2019-07-09). "Statement | Lee Burch named London Bees Head Coach". London Bees Official Website.
- "London City Lionesses sack manager Chris Phillips". 2019-10-15.
- "Alonso departs Lewes FC as Parker takes up the reins". www.lewesfc.com.
- Staff, Newsroom. "Celtic appoint Fran Alonso as new women's team head coach". www.celticfc.net.
- "Coventry United sack Stuart Wilson". Coventry United Twitter. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
- "LMA Manager of the Month Awards – August 2019". League Managers Association. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "August Player of the Month". Aston Villa Twitter. 20 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "LMA Manager of the Month Awards – September 2019". League Managers Association. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- "September Player of the Month". FA Women's Championship. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- "LMA Manager of the Month Awards – October 2019". League Managers Association. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "October Player of the Month". FA Women's Championship. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- "LMA Manager of the Month Awards – November 2019". League Managers Association. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "November Player of the Month". FA Women's Championship. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- "LMA Manager of the Month Awards – December 2019". League Managers Association. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
- "December Player of the Month". FA Women's Championship. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
- "LMA Manager of the Month Awards – January 2020". League Managers Association. 7 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- "January Player of the Month". FA Women's Championship. 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
- "February Player of the Month". FA Women's Championship. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
- "Championship awards handed out". womenscompetitions.thefa.com.
- "Wilkinson named Player of the Season". www.sufc.co.uk.
- "Gemma Davies and Sian Rogers both receive individual accolades". www.avfc.co.uk.