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Bristol Academy Women's Football Club have today written to the FA requesting permission to change their name to Bristol City Women's Football Club for the 2016 season.
Simon Arnold, chairman of Bristol Academy told the Bristol Sport website: "This is a very positive development for the club which will secure top flight women's football in Bristol and the West Country.
"The Women's game in England has developed significantly over the last five years and to compete we have to become professional both on and off the pitch. It was becoming increasingly difficult to do this as a club without the help of a professional club's marketing, commercial and supporter base.
"We have been working with our partners at Bristol City FC and Bristol Sport Limited for a number of years and it was the right time for them to embrace the women's game and put their resources behind the club.
"We will still play at Stoke Gifford Stadium and we will still be called the Vixens, although we will change our name we will remain an independently run club."
Bristol City FC's executive director Doug Harman commented: "It is a significant milestone in the history of both clubs. In recent years we have seen many Premier League teams welcome the women's development of the game and embrace the top-flight women's team in their respective cities, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea to name but a few.
"I think that the time is right for this to happen in Bristol and that both clubs will benefit from this unity."
Andrew Billingham, CEO of Bristol Sport added: "Last season we enabled City fans to watch the women's games as part of their season ticket, to help promote both teams to new audiences and it is great that this relationship has developed further.
"It is an exciting time for women's football globally. The fact that Ashton Gate has previously supported Bristol Women by hosting their Champions League games here and that the England Women will play their UEFA Euro 2017 qualifier at the stadium on November 29th underlines our commitment to the development of the women's game."
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