Women's Football

Revamped UWCL will see huge increase in financial support for women's game

Max Parsons
Apr 28, 2021, 3:00 PM GMT+1
Lyon are the current holders of the competition
Lyon are the current holders of the competition | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A new UEFA Women's Champions League model set to be introduced for the 2021/22 season will see €24m redistributed across Europe for the good of the women's game, in what UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin describes as a 'giant step forward'.

The changes to the current format include structural differences and the use of VAR to commence at the quarter final stage, rather than just the final as is the case currently. Meanwhile, clubs will also be able to amend their squads during the tournament to cater for maternity leave.

The eye-catching amendment, however, is the redistribution of €24m, of which 23% will be given to clubs that are not competing in the competition.

Talking about the proposal, Ceferin said: "[It] will strengthen the women's game across Europe," reports BBC. "The development of women's football should not be driven by short-term gain but a long-term vision.

"Thanks to the solidarity payments at the heart of this project and the increased rewards, every last Euro generated by the Women's Champions League and even more will go back into the women's game."

The new strategy also includes the first ever cross-subsidy from Europe's men's competitions into the women's game. Head of women's football for the European Club Association Claire Bloomfield said:

"This is an extraordinary moment in the history of women's club competitions...the cross-subsidy from men's European club competitions, vastly improved prize money, plus progressive approach to the competition's new media and sponsorship rights, will significantly change the financial reality for women's clubs throughout Europe.

"The payments to non-participating clubs are also a crucial first step towards achieving further professionalisation and a balanced and competitive future for the game."

Aleksander Ceferin
Aleksander Ceferin says the new format is a 'giant step' for women's football | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

UEFA president Ceferin believes the changes which will come into place from next season represent 'a clear signal that the women's game is a strategic priority.'

The announcement comes just under two months after an historic TV deal for the Women's Super League was struck, significantly increasing the revenue produced for English, top-flight women's teams, aiding the development and professionalisation of the sport.