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Football Association Women’s Super League

Overview

The Football Association Women’s Super League (FA WSL) is England’s highest league of women’s football. The leagues runs from September to May, functioning as a winter league. WSL is also used as a qualifier for the UEFA Women’s Champions League the following season, with the champions and runners-up of that season moving on. Recently, this 2018-2019 season, the league was rebranded as the FA Women’s Super League. It is now a fully professional league with eleven teams. In fact, in March 2019, it received a three-year sponsorship deal of over £10 million, making it “the biggest ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand,” according to the FA.[1]

League’s Competitive Structure

Since the Women’s Super League started in 2011, It has gone through a number of different changes, both in its professionalism and size. When it first started, it was a semi-professional league with only a few players contracted as “full-time.” Each of the top four players of each team were paid a little over £20,000 a year. At this time, there were only eight clubs and it stayed this way until 2016.

On September 2017, the FA decided to restructure the league and change its club licensing criteria. For example, in order to be a licensed member, all clubs must offer their players a minimum 16 hour / week contract and are required to form a youth academy. They intended for the league to split into two divisions. The first division would be a top division that is fully professional and has between eight to fourteen teams. The second division would be a semi-professional league of up to twelve teams. As previously mentioned, this past 2018-19 season, the league was fully professional with eleven teams.

During the 2014 season, the WSL also introduced a new knockout cup competition, called the FA WSL Continental Cup. This competition occurs simultaneously with the regular league season. The competition formerly had eight teams, but after the WSL restructured to two divisions, it now has twenty-two teams.

Clubs

The current league includes the following eleven clubs:

Club Town / City
Arsenal Borehamwood
Birmingham City Solihull
Brighton & Hove Albion Crawley
Bristol City Filton
Chelsea Kingston upon Thames
Everton Southport
Liverpool Birkenhead
Manchester City Manchester
Reading High Wycombe
West Ham United Romford
Yeovil Town Dorchester
Locations of the 2018–19 FA WSL teams:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

[1] “FA Women’s Super League.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Apr. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FA_Women%27s_Super_League.