Doncaster Rovers Belles 'disappointed' by WSL 1 process

Doncaster Rovers Belles
Doncaster Rovers Belles finished bottom of the WSL 1 last season, winning just one match

Doncaster are "disappointed" by the Football Association's decision to open applications to all second-tier clubs to join Women's Super League One for the 2017-18 season.

The FA wants to redress the balance between WSL 1 and 2 after top-flight side Notts County folded in April.

Belles were relegated from the first tier to the second last season.

"We were disappointed that the FA did not make a decisive appointment at their board meeting," a statement said.

"In the event of promoted teams not meeting the off-pitch WSL 1 criteria, it would have been the relegated team that would have stayed up.

"Whilst this does not apply in relation to withdrawals, we had hoped this would be an indication of fair and appropriate action."

WSL 2 sides have been asked to show how they can meet the additional licence criteria and financial demands at the higher level.

Everton Ladies
Everton could become WSL 2 Spring Series champions on Saturday, but there is no promotion place at stake.

A decision on the successful bidder will be made in June, as the FA seeks to create two 10-team divisions.

It will be based on the applicant clubs' skills in business management, youth development and marketing, as well as the quality of their facilities and their performances on the pitch in the past 12 months.

The applications close on 30 May and Doncaster confirmed they would be seeking a place in WSL 1.

The statement added: "The published criteria indicate that the FA are looking for a particular type of club.

"We believe we have much to offer the WSL1, as well as the women's game as a whole, and as such we believe the club has a strong case which we will put before the FA."

In April 2013, the FA replaced Belles in the top tier with Manchester City Women, and relegated Doncaster to WSL 2.