There is growing concern that the Women’s Champions League’s current format is holding it back from reaching its full potential.
Thus, UEFA and other influential parties are looking into the possibility of extending the tournament. The tournament structure changed for the 2021-22 season. UEFA added a Group Stage consisting of four groups of four teams each.
Additionally, UEFA consolidated media rights so the women’s tournament has a more consistent format with the men. Therefore, it is more marketable to spectators and sponsors. In the United States, DAZN has coverage of Women’s UEFA Champions League games.
UEFA forced into Women’s Champions League expansion
According to a recent article in The Times, the Women’s Champions League can grow even more with expansion. One of two things needs to happen. More teams need to be able to qualify. Or, the co-efficient mechanism can adjust to provide more weight on the best women’s leagues. Nothing is out of consideration at this point.
There are now two ways to enter the tournament: the champions road and the league path. Depending on England’s club co-efficient, a certain number of Women’s Super League (WSL) teams will go directly into the Group Stage.
Big teams eliminated very early
Chelsea, being the WSL champion from the previous season, has been given a bye into the group stage for the current campaign. On Friday, the draw will be made for the second qualifying round, where WSL runner-up Manchester United will enter the tournament. Arsenal, who placed third in the WSL, had to join the competition at the Sep. 6 qualifying round.
They made it to the finals by beating the other team on penalties, but Paris FC ultimately prevailed. The same thing happened to Juventus in the penalty shootout.
The rise of the women’s game since 2021 has prompted discussions about the competition’s long-term viability. Because of the financial losses the clubs would incur, the demand to extend or reorganize the tournament has increased as a result of these teams’ early eliminations.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Just Pictures
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