Eight teams successful in Women's Super League bid
Wed 24th Mar 2010 | Club & Country Competitions
The Football Association have announced the eight clubs that were successful with their applications to be part of the new FA Women’s Super League, launching in March 2011.
The new Super League will see eight teams compete in an elite league to increase the profile of women’s football in England.
The eight teams chosen are:
- Birmingham City Ladies FC
- Arsenal Ladies FC
- Bristol Academy Women’s FC
- Chelsea Ladies FC
- Doncaster Rovers Belles
- Lincoln Ladies FC
- Liverpool Ladies FC
The clubs have been offered 2 year licences for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
The FA believes the Super League will be the key platform to drive the women’s game forward in England. The Super League concept was developed to enable players in this country to earn a good living from the game whilst allowing Super League clubs to develop new revenue streams and support for women’s football.
With participation levels of women’s football at an all time high – currently 1.1 million girls play football in England – the Super League will play a pivotal role in ensuring the player pathway leads to a competitive, elite structure at the very top of the women’s game.
The FA invited applications for a position in the Super League from all interested parties, and received a total of 16 bids by the application deadline on 18 December 2009.
Interested clubs were asked to apply by completing a Club Development Plan in accordance with specific criteria and guidelines.
This covered four key areas:
- Financial and business management
- Commercial and marketing
- Players and support staff
The review process for the bids submitted was robust and thorough and all of the received bids were reviewed in great detail by an adjudication panel which included independent experts in the related business and football fields.
Over the last six months the Club have been working together with Birmingham City Ladies FC on bid documents to gain a place in the new Super League. Michael Dunford, Chief Executive of Birmingham City FC added: “We are absolutely delighted that we will be one of the eight taking part in the league. One of the main things we wanted to do when we came to the club was develop our relationships with key members of our ‘Blues family’ and by working together with the Ladies section of the club we have managed to get into the Super League. It’s a tremendous achievement which will not only increase the profile of ladies football in general but in particular that of Birmingham City Ladies FC.”
Steve Shipway, Chairman of Birmingham City Ladies FC also commented: “This is a major step forward for the ladies and signals the start of a new era. The link into Birmingham City FC is fantastic and as part of the family I am sure that we can now be a major force in women’s football. We have twelve months till the start of the new league and we look forward to the challenge with the support of the fans.”
Arsenal Ladies General Manager Vic Akers said: "We are delighted about development of the new league, and to have been accepted as a participating club. As a club we still await some question to be answered by the FA before we get things up and running in preparation for this time next year, however it's something for everyone involved in the women's game to be excited about and along with the other clubs we look forward to hearing further news."
Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, said: “It’s fantastic that the Women’s Super League is a step closer to getting off the ground. Women’s football is one of the fastest growing sports in the country but there is still room for further growth. The Super League will shine the spotlight even brighter on the women’s game, encourage more young women to take up the sport and help develop stars that will represent the ever-improving women’s national team.”
The FA will meet with all Super League clubs in April to discuss next steps in the preparation process for the 2011 Super League launch.
Visit our blog to find out more about the Super League and what it means for the women's game as a whole. Super League/Sour Grapes? by Jen O'Neill, Editor - www.SheKicks.net
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