A-League Women’s Competition Set For Expansion
The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has announced a plan to expand the Liberty A-League Women’s competition from 10 to 12 teams with a full home and away schedule of 22 rounds by the 2023-24 season.
The organisation announced Western United will officially join in 2022-23 for a 20-round competition, and Central Coast Mariners have been granted a provisional licence by the APL and awaits Football Australia (FA) board approval to officially join in 2023-24 for a 22-round season.
The changes to the competition come following conversations between the APL and the playing group through Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), which lead to the minimum salary in the league increasing by more than 50% over the next two years in line with the 5-year CBA signed last year.
Discussing the increased focus on expanding the women’s competition in Australia, A-Leagues CEO, Danny Townsend, said the league will increase to 132 matches in a season due to the changes.
“In the 18-months since we have been running the professional game in Australia, we will increase the number of regular season matches from 70 to 132, finally bringing Australia in line with global benchmarks and ensuring more opportunities for women to play at the highest level and for girls to benefit from the role models and expanded professional pathways this investment creates,” Townsend said.
“We are just 12 months out from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and we want to make sure that every girl and woman in Australia has the opportunity to build and grow a lasting relationship with football, the country’s most participated in sport,” he said.
PFA co-CEO, Kate Gill, said: “Today represents a significant step forward for women’s football in Australia that not only brings to life the players’ vision for a full home and away competition, but indicates the APL’s intent and belief in growing the women’s game.”
“Thanks to the genuine partnership with the APL, the players have played a central role in helping to design a competition that delivers meaningful employment, a professional career path and a strong and sustainable league that will develop the next generation of Australian talent,” Gill said.