Launch of the Womens Super League

The Launch of the Women’s Super League in March 2011:
A Catalyst for Another Decade of Progress for Women’s Football in England

Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 6pm

B33 Lecture Theatre
Main Building
Birkbeck College
Torrington Square
London WC1E 7HX
(For directions please see the pdf map).

 A Roundtable Discussion

  • Rachel Pavlou, National Women’s Football Development Manager at the Football Association (the FA). She has particular responsibility for managing the implementation of the FA Women’s & Girls’ Football Strategy & National Game Strategy, managing the FA Girls’ Centres of Excellence programme of 52 licensed Centres and the National Project Officer, and supporting the development of the Women’s Super League.
  • Chair – Eric Golding, FA Registered Supply League Referee Assessor, Referee Assessor for the FA Women’s Premier League, Referee Co-ordinator at the Arsenal Ladies Centre of Excellence, Hon. Mentoring Officer at the London FA, Retired Referee and FA Registered Referee Tutor.
  • Lorraine Deschamps, FA Football for All Ambassador, Trustee of Sporting Equals, Football Association (FA) registered Tutor  and level 5 Referee, also an Assistant Referee on the Women’s Premier League.
  • Sarah Hobbs, represents the new generation of young female referees having taken up refereeing whilst a student at Richmond upon Thames College in 2005. She is currently a level 5 Referee and intends to seek Women’s FIFA registration within two years.


This roundtable event brings together a number of distinguished figures from English women’s football to discuss the prospects for the women’s game after a decade of successful expansion in grassroots participation and significant improvement in the quality of the elite women’s game. In particular, the panel will focus on the challenges ahead for the women’s game at a time of great optimism on the eve of one the most significant developments in the history of the women’s game, the launch of the FA Women’s Super League in March 2011.

Women’s football has witnessed substantial growth in strength and popularity in the last decade. It is now recognised as the No.1 female team participation sport in England: there are more than 150,000 affiliated players (based on FA data); 260,000 women and 1.1 million girls playing the game for recreational reasons (Sport England’s Active People survey 2008). Authoritative surveys indicate that there is a large untapped demand for participation in football by girls e.g. 331,000 girls currently not playing for a team who would like to (TNS Sport). The existing cohesive structure for affiliated players allows talented players to develop to their full potential, from initial identification in grassroots clubs through to playing at Centres of Excellence and ultimately, selection for national teams.

To build on this success, grow the women’s game, and take it to the next level, the FA’s current Strategic Vision and Women’s and Girls’ Football Strategy identified some specific plans to raise the quality and competitiveness in the women’s game further. The FA’s investment at the elite level of the game is intended to fulfil the following objectives:

  • To create a new competition – the ‘The FA Women’s Super League’ and the new structure to support it to be in place for the League to kick-off in March 2011;
  • To attract and retain England’s most talented players;
  • To create more paid career opportunities for players to play and work in football on a full time basis;
  • To support and strengthen the commercial viability and sustainability of women’s football;
  • To improve the standard of football facilities available to women;
  • To strengthen the player pathway and playing base of the sport.

In March 2010 the FA announced that eight teams had met the stringent licensing criteria to become the founding members of the Women’s Super League in March 2011: Arsenal Ladies FC; Birmingham City Ladies FC; Bristol Academy Women’s FC; Chelsea Ladies FC; Doncaster Rovers Belles; Everton; Lincoln Ladies FC; and Liverpool Ladies FC

Not only does the FA Women’s Super League represent a progressive initiative for women’s football, but with its stringent club licensing system and salary cap structure it also represents one of most radical attempts at new league design, informed by best practice thinking in sport economics and business management, in any sport in the UK in recent times.


Birkbeck Sport Business Seminar Series Contact Details

For further details on the seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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