WSL

Birmingham relegated from WSL for first time in club's history

Ali Rampling
Birmingham have been relegated from the WSL
Birmingham have been relegated from the WSL / Morgan Harlow/GettyImages
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Birmingham City have been relegated from the WSL for the first time in their history following a 6-0 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday evening

Goals from Lauren Hemp, Alana Kennedy, Chloe Kelly, Laura Coombs and a Georgia Stanway brace condemned the Blues to defeat at the Academy Stadium.

The result leaves them five points adrift of second from bottom Leicester at the foot of the WSL with one game remaining.

Birmingham were one of eight founding members of the WSL when the league formed in 2011, and have played in all 11 of the division's seasons (including the Spring Series).

The club's relegations means there are now just two clubs who will have been ever-present in the WSL since its inception 11 years ago: Arsenal and Chelsea.

Birmingham's relegation continues the gradual decline that the club have experienced over the past three years. The Blues had been a force to be reckoned with during the early years of the WSL, finishing as runners-up during the division's maiden two campaigns and winning the FA Cup in 2012.

An assortment of top England internationals have plied their trade for the Blues over the past decade, including Ellen White, Karen Carney, Eni Aluko and Laura Bassett.

However, the club have battled relegation over the past three seasons, and saw their 2020/21 campaign disrupted by off-field issues. In April 2021, players signed an open letter calling the club out over their working conditions.

Carla Ward steered Birmingham away from the drop zone, despite having to contend with a minuscule squad and budget, but resigned at the end of last season.

She was replaced by Scott Booth, who was then sacked in November with the club rooted to the bottom of the WSL.

Darren Carter came in and guided Birmingham to their first league win of the campaign - remarkably, over then WSL leaders Arsenal - and although results and performances have improved under the new boss, it has not been enough to keep the Blues afloat.

Birmingham will play their final WSL match of the season against rivals Aston Villa - managed by former boss Ward - at Villa Park on Sunday.

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