Liverpool FC Women manager Vicky Jepson says she and the players are ‘heartbroken’ at the club’s relegation after the Super League season was ended early.
With no games being played since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the season was ended early and the league table decided on points-per-game, confirming the bottom-of-the-table side’s relegation.
The Merseyside club, one of the founding members of the WSL when it was launched in 2010, were bottom of the table by a point when the season was suspended but had played a game more than Birmingham who were just above them.
The club had already released a statement expressing their disappointment, and Jepsen has revealed the devastation amongst the squad at the decision to curtail the season without playing their final eight games.
‘Obviously today has been an extremely tough pill to swallow for myself as a manager, for our players, our staff and obviously our LFC fans,’ Jepson told LFCTV.
‘We were in a position where we were ready to come back and fulfil the fixtures within our league. With eight games left to play we only played 64 per cent of our fixtures so we wanted to play those last eight games to prove a point that we could stay in the WSL.’
The Reds felt they had the necessary resources to get back to action in a safe manner and fight against the relegation they have been threatened with for much of the season.
‘If we’d still sat at the bottom after those eight games we would have felt that that was the fair way of judging, that we deserved to be relegated. But obviously there is disappointment with the decision today, Jepson added.
‘For me as the manager it’s important that I reach out to the Liverpool fans and we need them more than ever to stick by our players because I have spoken to the girls today and they were extremely heartbroken by the decision and shocked as well as I am, as well as the staff are as well as everybody across LFC departments because we weren’t expecting this to be the outcome.
‘It is the outcome, it’s something we can’t control but what we can control is how we react to this outcome and we’ve got to react in the best possible way and the best possible way is how we prepare in our pre season and how we perform on our pitch next season and we will do that.
‘But right now the next couple of days it will be sore for us, it will be raw but and we have to address these emotions and channel them in the right way with the disappointment that we’ve got from the FA’s decision and we’ll come back fighting, in the way that we should do as a Liverpool squad.’
The decision also confirmed Chelsea as champions after leapfrogging Manchester City having played one less game before the break.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa were promoted to the WSL for the first time after being crowned champions of the second flight.