The Women's Super League will be awarded with an extra Champions League spot for the upcoming 2021/22 season when the competition expands
Arsenal and Manchester City were granted a place for this year's edition following their finish in the previous Women's Super League table, with third place Chelsea missing out despite reaching the semi-final stage of the competition the previous season.
The revamp, as revealed by UEFA,
Since 2009, the competition has used groups in the qualifying rounds but the last 32 onwards has seen a two-leg affair, in knockout format.
“By guaranteeing teams more matches against their elite rivals, we believe that the group structure will raise the quality of the women’s game even more,"
Director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti added, via the BBC: "There is a clear increase of interest in the women's game. We see it from everywhere."
"It's been a long process. The talks about changing the format and creating a group stage started several years ago. We pushed it back because we felt the conditions were not yet met.
The change means a 20% increase in the number of matches, with the aim to provide the tournament with more competitive games that offer increased visibility and quality.