We want to be sustainable, says United's Stoney

Manchester United manager Casey Stoney Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough
Manchester United manager Casey Stoney Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

Manchester United boss Casey Stoney has warned the FA to think carefully about increasing the salary cap to ensure the Women’s Super League does not collapse.

English top-flight sides are currently permitted to spend 40 per cent of their turnover on wages under the current FA rules – although this is set to be reviewed.

Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of the professional women’s game, revealed the organisation is open to looking at whether clubs think the cap is restrictive.

This comes after the USA’s NWSL recently upped its salary cap by nearly 20 per cent to $650,000 (£504,000) plus $300,000 (£233,000) of allocation money for a star in excess of the cap.

But Stoney has urged the FA to learn from the mistakes made by their American counterparts and stressed the importance of clubs not spending beyond their means.

“People can shoot me down, but surely we want to be sustainable,” she said. “I look at the NWSL that collapsed twice because of the wages and paying people astronomical money.

“I love this game so much and I want to grow and to grow organically.

“We still make millions and millions pounds of loss so I think we have a great league, I think the best players are coming here so I would assess whether we need to increase that or not.”

Stoney was speaking after watching her Red Devils side romp to a 4-0 success over Brighton, with Leah Galton netting twice in between goals from Lauren James and Katie Zelem.

The result came hot on the heels of their rampant 11-1 victory over Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the Continental League Cup, in which Ella Toone scored five goals.

Toone started on the bench against Brighton and Stoney admitted her players are causing her plenty of selection dilemmas as United got back to winning ways in the league after their defeat to Chelsea.

“I think that was one of our better, complete performances,” said Stoney of the win over Brighton. “I thought we looked after the ball and executed the game plan brilliantly.

“I think it shows how strong the squad is that we had to rotate the squad through the week and still put in a performance like that.

“I always say to them don’t ever think it’s an easy decision for me to pick who’s starting because they put pressure on. [Ella] Toone gets five goals, plays well and she gets left out.

“She has every right to be disappointed but no one did anything wrong in the Chelsea game either and that’s what squads are about, rotating when you need to, having people available.

“I never ever doubt any of my players. It’s one of the hardest parts of my job because I care about them as people first before players.

“I know I’m letting them down every week I don’t pick them but that’s what I’m paid to do, I’m paid to get results and I’m paid to get the team to perform.”

The three points against Brighton means United sit fifth in the table and Stoney is confident her team can achieve their goals in their first Women’s Super League season.

“We set targets at the start of the season for a top half finish and I think we’re on track,” she added.

“A measure of success is those players walk out at the end of the season developed as players and developed as people.

“Yes we would like some trophies, you know that, but we’re 18 months in to a long term plan.”