The European Super League now threatens the growth of women’s football in Europe just as UEFA had started to implement their latest Women’s Champions League reforms, including the return of the group stage.
There is no doubt that the token mention of the women’s game was an afterthought for the teams involved in the European Super League founders.
“As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition,” a statement said, “a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.”
And the suggestion of any kind of women’s European breakaway league that doesn't involve the continent’s two most successful clubs, Lyon & Wolfsburg, is absurd. They have won nine of the past 10 @UWCL titles between them https://t.co/LCu9Cgkw0W
— Tom Garry (@TomJGarry) April 19, 2021
If we look at the 12 founding members, a lot of them are looking good to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/22 tournament. A reminder, the dirty dozen are: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham.
Liverpool and Tottenham will not qualify but the other four English teams are in contention for the three available places.
In Spain, Barca will qualify for the Champions League and Real Madrid are currently in third place. Atletico are having a poor season and might miss out.
In Italy, Juventus have qualified for the tournament next season, AC Milan are looking good, too, in second place. Inter are nowhere near the Champions League places.
If we look at the current UEFA club rankings.
Most of the big clubs would not be in the Women’s Super League and the Women’s Champions League would actually be stronger that a European Super League.
In the UEFA competition, we would still have the following teams, along with their ranking:
- 1. Lyon
- 3. Wolfsburg
- 4. PSG
- 6. Bayern
- 8. Slavia Praha
…and so on…
Having a Women’s European club tournament without Lyon, Wolfsburg, PSG or Bayern would be ridiculous and without any credibility.
Exclusion from UEFA competition would really have a disastrous effect on those women’s teams in Europe. Should the players also be excluded from the Euros, the Olympics and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, it would be a total disaster.
For example, a Team GB team without any player from the six English teams would look like this:
Mayling, Corsie, Fisk, Flaherty, Pattinson, Mitchell,
James, Fishlock, Christiansen, Graham
Daly, Harding, Salmon, Parris, Duggan, Magill,
Hopefully, UEFA and FIFA won’t extend the ban for the men’s teams to the women’s team. Otherwise, it will just destroy a sport that is growing up.
Can you imagine the FA having to kick out the BIG 4 from the FA Women’s Super League and presenting Everton, Brighton and Reading as the three teams competing in the UEFA Women Champions League?
The FA Women’s Super League commercial appeal would just collapse without the big four.
Doomsday might be coming soon for clubs and players, if UEFA and FIFA put their foot down.
Hopefully, this nightmare scenario will not happen and the women’s side of the game will carry on as war rages in the men’s world.
That seems unlikely given what we know from history and men at war.