As previously communicated earlier this year, The FA WSL will expand to two divisions from 2014, and The FA has been reviewing the entire pyramid for women’s football in consultation with all stakeholders.
The FA absolutely recognises the importance of having a thriving winter pyramid in place to support the player pathway and ensure there is a league structure that can co-exist with significant changes at the elite level of the game.
From the 2014/2015 season onwards, it has been agreed that The FAWPL and the four Combination Leagues will amalgamate to form the Women's Championship League, supported by The FA.
The change in league name is to ensure that there is a clear tier structure within the women’s football pyramid that can be understood by all stakeholders within the game, given the transformation of the pyramid since The FA WSL launched in 2011.
The new Championship League, which will become the third and fourth tier of women's football after The FA WSL 1 and The FA WSL 2, will receive an annual grant of £90,000 from The FA, accessed by a League Development Plan. In addition, The FA will also fund a League Secretary and a Referees Appointment Secretary.
The FA has invested significantly into women’s football with the introduction of The FA WSL and last year launched the Game Changer five-year plan to help develop, support and grow the entire women’s game.
The FA has communicated these new league plans, following a lengthy consultation process, with all relevant stakeholders including all FAWPL Clubs and the Combination league representatives.
This process began in November 2012 and at the FAWPL SGM in March 2013 all clubs bar one, voted in favour of the proposal. All Combination League Management Committees consulted their clubs and the four Leagues were unanimously in favour.
A joint-liaison committee of FAWPL and Combination League representatives has been working together with The FA for a number of months to develop the new structure.
A member of The FA Women’s Football Committee will also be appointed to the new Championship League’s Management Committee to ensure FA support and guidance is ongoing in all league matters.
An interim Women's Championship League Management Committee will also be elected by clubs in February 2014.