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FA unveils 'game changing' plans for women's football

By Tom Walker    29 Oct 2012
The plans have been designed to create a clear identity for women's football

The Football Association (FA) has launched plans to transform the future of women's football in England.

Entitled Game Changer, the strategy looks to harness the momentum of the 2012 Olympics and drive the game forward at every level.

The plans are based on four key elements - creating an Elite Performance Unit (EPU); delivering a new commercial strategy for women's football; expanding the FA Women's Super League (WSL); and to grow participation at grass root level.

The EPU will be tasked with developing the best young players via the talent development pathway of 31 Centres of Excellence, 29 player development centres and elite performance camps.

For the first time in FA history, a distinct commercial programme for women's football will be created to help the game have a clear identity and become financially more sustainable.

As part of this, the commercial rights for England Women, The FA Women's Cup and The FA WSL will be sold separately from rights for the men's game to establish a clear identity.

A second tier - WSL2 - will also be created to enable promotion and relegation, expanding a competition format that is driving up playing standards and improving awareness of the women's game.

The FA plans for women's football to become the second largest team sport after men's football by 2018 based on independent Sport England research, with 253,600 women playing football each month (currently fourth behind men's football, cricket and rugby).

FA chair David Bernstein said; "Women's football is the area with the most potential for growth in the nation's favourite game.

"We're determined to lead that development at every level and have created a robust plan for doing so using all our resources and knowledge."

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