The FA's new top tier of Women's football will launch in 2011.
The FA’s ambition is to create a competitive, sustainable and commercially attractive league at the top of women’s football in this country.
The FA WSL’s marketing vision is to revolutionise and grow women’s football so that the game is more commercially sustainable, the players are seen as icons, the clubs build bigger and more loyal fan bases, and these fans enjoy a greater experience.
Currently our top players compete in The FA Women’s Premier League, which is a winter league. Matches are regularly postponed because of bad weather, and pitch conditions are not always of the required quality. This can affect the quality of the football played and there are not enough spectators currently attending matches other than the showcase finals that draw large crowds.
Also, many established fans of women's football do not get the chance to go and watch FAWPL matches as they are playing or coaching at the same time. There is very little televised football at this level and many of the clubs are not commercially sustainable.
The FA WSL has been developed to address these problems for our top-level footballers. Over time, the benefits should also filter through to the lower levels of club football as there is greater investment in women’s football, standards improve both on and off the pitch, and higher profile role models emerge for young women.
It will be a new semi professional summer league as opposed to a winter amateur league. It will showcase England’s best players and the best domestic women’s football in this country, and it will be televised.
It is a smaller league with just eight clubs initially. There will be more quality players spread across fewer teams; there will also be more resource and investment from both The FA and the clubs into the league. This will be spent on, for example, commercial development, better facilities, and career opportunities for players. A host broadcaster will also play a pivotal role in ensuring matches are televised and a wider consumer fan base is attracted to the sport.
The FA Women’s Premier League is still a very important part of The FA’s competition structure and talent pathway for women footballers – it still sits at the top of the winter pyramid. It is the obvious ‘next tier’ where the very best amateur clubs can compete and prove themselves.
The following clubs have agreed two year licences for the 2011 and 2012 seasons: Arsenal Ladies FC, Birmingham City Ladies FC, Bristol Academy Women’s FC, Chelsea Ladies FC, Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies FC, Everton Ladies FC, Lincoln Ladies FC, Liverpool Ladies FC.
Click here for more information and questions about The FA WSL.