Former Chelsea and England midfielder Katie Chapman is open to idea of the expansion of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League in the coming years.
The second tier, the FA Women’s Championship, has seen some clubs invest in their squads with the aim of reaching the promised land of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. Leicester City were to latest side to reveal that they would be turning full-time on the eve of the new season while the battle for promotion could realistically include up to five clubs.
With the Barclays FA Women’s Super League now being one of the most impressive brands in women’s football, could now be the time to consider increasing the number of participating clubs from 12 clubs to 14 clubs or even 16 clubs? When speaking to FA Women’s Super League Full-Time in a FIFA media event ‘Football Talks’ earlier today, former Chelsea and England midfielder Chapman said that she is open to seeing an expansion of the league.
“The way the game is growing in England, I think it is good to expand the league” said Chapman. “As long as we can sustain the clubs and they can sustain themselves within the league, I think it is always great to have more and more games.
“If we can create a bigger professional league, then so be it.”
Whatever the long term future holds for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, Chapman is well-aware of the need to support the continued growth of the FA Women’s Championship and those players who are balancing jobs in a bid to carve out a successful playing career.
Chapman added “We also need to help the league below.
“If you look at the two leagues, we have a professional league but the league below is very different.
“There are players there who are still working as well as playing and back in the day, we all used to do that.
“There is still a way to go but if we can continue to expand the top league and have more games and more clubs involved in that there is no reason why not (have a bigger professional league).”
The first FA Women’s Super League 1 was staged back in 2011 with just eight clubs each playing 14 games. The competition has now expanded to 12 clubs with each club playing 22 fixtures while there is a requirement for all top flight sides to be operating on a full-time basis. The league has also changed from a summer competition to a league which runs from September to May which is more aligned with the men’s professional game.