FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, April 21, 2019, Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert, centre, and teammates celebrate scoring against Lyon during their Women's Champions League soccer match in Decines, France. The English Football Association’s board have decided to determine the final standings on a points-per-game basis, Friday June 5, 2020, naming Chelsea as Women’s Super League champions after the season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, FILE)

LONDON (AP) — The Premier League is providing around 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) to help the women’s league start next season during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2019-20 Women’s Super League and Championship campaigns were abandoned in May. The Football Association, which runs the women’s leagues, wants the new season to start on Sept. 5.

“What we’ve been able to do for the women’s game is to help them to the tune of around 1 million pounds to help them get their testing program up and running," Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said Tuesday. “We’ve recently made that funding gesture to them and I believe on that basis they are able to start their 2021 season.”

Masters wants the Premier League to take over the running of the elite women’s competitions from the FA but said now was not the right time.

“In the last year we have had lots of dialogue with the FA and with our own clubs about the Premier League, at some point in the future, assuming responsibility for the professional game," Masters said. “We obviously want the women’s game to be successful, which is why we are helping them and why we have engaged in those discussions with the FA about assuming responsibility for it.

“From a personal perspective, I think it is something I would like to do in the future for this organization — not being just responsible for the top of the pyramid in terms of the men’s game but also the women’s game."

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