W-League needs more investment to be one of the top world leagues
24 October 2019
With the 12th season of the W-League about to get underway, Women in Football Australia Inc has circulated a discussion paper calling on Australian football’s stakeholders for greater investment in the game if it is to be one of the top leagues in the world.
The discussion paper, entitled Improving Opportunities for Professional Women's Football, also states that a decision should be made on whether the W-League is a ‘development’ or ‘elite’ level league.
“While we appreciate the W-League’s future is in the hands of the Australian Professional Football Clubs’ Association, this is a mission critical issue for FFA and football’s stakeholders, and is an issue of relevance and interest to the broader football community,” according to Women in Football.
“In a nutshell, if it is to be one of the best leagues in the world, the W-League needs significant investment and attention from the clubs – not just for the sake of the competition itself but for Australia’s top players.”
The discussion paper suggests that without improvement to the W-League, Australia’s top players, such as Matildas capatain Sam Kerr, may be better advised to play elsewhere if they are to receive “just attention, recognition and reward internationally”.
Women in Football believe that if the W-League is to be a development league, then a national second tier competition should be introduced for women in addition to men.
The discussion paper highlights four key issues that need to be addressed by football’s stakeholders including:
the need for women players to play more games, with a suggestion that an Asian Champions League and a FFA Cup be introduced for women;
more consistent match scheduling and venues;
understanding the fanbase of women’s football, including deleting dual social media channels for the W-League and A-League; and
“The pushback on the issues we raise is anticipated to be around lack of finances. However, with the increased interest in , and scrutiny on, women’s sport, we suggest there is enormous scope for improvement in the level of sponsors for the W-League, the Matildas and women’s and girls’ football more broadly.”
Women in Football has sought comment and feedback on the discussion paper by the end of November, and indicate that this is the first in a series of discussion papers they will be issuing on matters of interest.
Women in Football was formed to highlight and address the low representation of women at governance and management levels of the sport which, in turn, has an impact on the level of advocacy for the women's game.
A copy of the discussion paper can be found in our Resources section.