The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has released a document outlining three key models for W-League reform.

Following the publication of the PFA W-League 2019/20 Report‘Professional Women’s Football: The Next Step’ is a white paper that provides a vision for the Australian game’s optimal structure, positioning within the global context and the W-League’s integration with Australia’s national team, the Matildas.

Considered in relation to nine key principles, the document outlines three potential avenues for competition reform to ensure the W-League’s viability and competitiveness, as external factors – including COVID-19 and the attraction of European club football for elite professionals – challenge the competition’s status quo.

The three options outlined within the document explore a formal partnership with the NWSL, an aspirational model where the W-League aims to become the ‘Best Global Women’s League’ and the option of the W-League creating a talent pipeline into the ‘Big Leagues’.

Within each of these opportunities, the document considers the need to create a critical mass of elite female players, for clubs to adopt a long-term view on investment, the balance of competing demands of players (between national team and club football), a shifting season window, competitive balance, and the ability to attract and retain the best global talent – particularly as European women’s football pursues an aggressive growth strategy.

“The W-League has to redefine itself to maintain the competitiveness of Australian women’s football on a global standing and validate the pathway for our domestic talent. In order to do so our game’s decision-makers and our players need to consider and find a solution to a number of challenges,” PFA co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill said.

“The W-League needs to determine its purpose, build and scale its value in a sustainable manner, establish the necessary partnerships and find its place in the global football economy.”

“With CBA negotiations underway and the game at a critical juncture, the W-League has matured to a point where it is ready for meaningful structural reform and strategic investment, embracing a renewed vision to transform clubs and players.

“This document identifies three key options – based on global trends and analysis – for contemplation as we embark on this vital process to ensure the W-League’s future.”

Click here to read or download the Professional Women’s Football: The Next Step document.