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Women’s Super League to get extra Champions League place

The UEFA Women’s Champions League is making some changes.

Arsenal Women v SK Slavia Praha - UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

UEFA is making several changes to the Women’s Champions League, beginning with the 2021-22 season. The biggest change is that the round of 16, where Arsenal progressed 13-2 on aggregate, will be replaced by a group stage, a decision that many managers had been calling for. More crucially, UEFA will take charge with centralized marketing and television deals. Currently, only the final is marketed by UEFA, with home sides marketing matches. This will make it easier for fans to watch matches in earlier rounds, as well as increasing funding.

The group stage will be preceded by a Champions and league paths, as with the men’s Champions League. The holders and champions of leagues ranked one to three will get automatic group stage qualification; champions of associations ranked four to six and runners-up of associations from one to six will be in the second round of qualifying, which consists of two-legged ties.

The six top-ranked associations will get a third place, meaning that it is all but assuted that the Women’s Super League will get a third side into the Champions League. The Women’s Super League is the third-ranked league, with coefficients dependent on Champions League performance. Currently, only the top two, separated by two points, make the Champions League. Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification in 2017-18 by one point. The Gunners are the only English team to have won the Women’s Champions League, having won the competition in 2007.