September 8 – England’s Women’s Super League could switch from two divisions of 10 teams to one division of 8-14 teams with full time professional players, and a second tier of 10-12 teams. The two divisions would operate independently, according to a report by the BBC.
Promotion and relegation between the divisions would not be automatic and would depend on clubs fulfilling licensing criteria to including a requirement to run a youth academy, replacing the current development league for younger players, and a minimum (undefined) level of investment.
Clubs would have to have a minimum 16 contact hours with players per week rising to 20 hours per week by 2020-21. The new league could be operational as early as the 2018/19 season. The current league has only just switched from a calendar year schedule to the season that will start September 22, matching the men’s calendar and better fitting the international schedule.
The new proposals are designed to better support the England team, said the BBC, as well as maintaining the competitiveness of the WSL and improving English performances in European club competition.
The new second tier would be made up of part-time players with contact time for players of eight hours per week plus matches. Clubs would be required to run reserve teams but not academies.
The regional divisions of the Women’s Premier League would remain as the third and fourth tier within the English women’s football pyramid.
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