Football’s English Premier League is considering taking over control of the Women’s Super League (WSL) from the Football Association (FA), according to the BBC.
The BBC reported Premier League clubs last month agreed to conduct a feasibility study into the matter following talks between the league and the FA, which launched the WSL in 2011.
A timeframe for any deal has not been suggested, with the BBC stating that any takeover could be “several seasons away”. The FA is said to be “open” to the Premier League assuming control of the WSL as it looks prioritise women’s national team and grassroots initiatives.
The WSL will feature 12 teams during the 2019-20 season, with Manchester United set to be among them. The FA last year approved United’s application to form a team in the second-tier Women’s Championship and the club secured promotion to the top flight after finishing the 2018-19 season as champions.
In March, the WSL was boosted by a first title sponsorship agreement with UK banking group Barclays. The deal runs from the 2019-20 to 2021-22 seasons and is reportedly worth more than £10m (€11.1m/$12.6m). The FA described the deal as the “biggest-ever investment” in UK women’s sport by a brand.
English women’s football is in the spotlight at present following the national team’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in France. England fell to a 2-1 loss to holders USA yesterday (Tuesday), with the match having been watched by 11.7 million people on the BBC.
The BBC reported that the FA is seeking to tap into the growing interest in women’s football by staging multiple matches at Premier League stadia on the opening weekend of the WSL season on September 7, which is an international break on the men’s calendar. Talks on the matter are said to be ongoing.