SWPL to form new league and cup within SPFL

A new era for women’s football in Scotland is set to begin from the start of the 2022/23 season.

The Scottish Women’s Premier League [SWPL] will move under the SPFL banner after the majority of the 17 clubs voted in favour of elite women’s football becoming the responsibility of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Clubs will be invited to join the new two-tier competition from the summer, while a new League Cup will also be created.

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It arrives after months of talks between clubs, the SFA, SPFL and Scottish Women’s Football over how to progress the women’s game in the country.

SWPL clubs are set for form a new league and cup competiton.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)SWPL clubs are set for form a new league and cup competiton.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
SWPL clubs are set for form a new league and cup competiton. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The exact number of teams and the format of the league has yet to be decided with an independent chair, a managing director and an independent non-executive director to be recruited to help drive the new body forward in cooperation with the member clubs.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “Everyone at the SPFL is hugely excited by the prospect of working closely with the SWPL clubs to help increase the competitiveness, profile and income of elite women’s football in Scotland.

“I have been struck by the ambition of all clubs involved to drive up standards, take the game to the next level and increase participation across the sport.”

Scottish Women’s Football chief executive Aileen Campbell added: “SWF is committed to driving the women's and girls' game in Scotland. We are therefore determined to do everything we can to support the elite game as it transitions to the SPFL.

“Football can be a huge force for good and we want to maximise its potential to drive positive change across our sport and society. We need to shine a spotlight on player wellbeing, to push for structural change and equality in boardrooms, and to prioritise a respect agenda.”

The SFA recently published ‘Accelerate Our Game’, a bespoke women’s football strategy with a “key pillar” being to take the game to the next level.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “With Hampden Park the new home of the Scotland Women’s National Team, and the team playing in front of record crowds, I am delighted that the various constituent parts of the game have come together to agree on a positive route forward for elite women’s football.”

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