WSL v NWSL: Is the English women’s top flight now the best in the world?

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Which league is better: the USA’s National Women’s Soccer League or England’s Women’s Super League? Welcome to one of the hottest debates in women’s football.

The two leagues, the NWSL and WSL, are constantly compared, consistently measured side by side.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

But for two leagues that are so often billed as competitors, they operate completely differently in almost every aspect. Whether it be the general league rules or the transfer system, the top flights of the US and England have fundamentally distinct approaches to growing women’s football.

There is no rulebook or a tried and true method on the best way to grow the women’s game. But having two of the biggest leagues in the world adopt such starkly different ways of working is interesting, to say the least.

Global Tech News Daily

Here, we take an in-depth look at how women’s football’s two most talked-about championships are building their futures – and which of the two comes out on top.

Expansion strategies

When talking about expansion strategy, it only makes sense to start with the NWSL. After all, they’re the only one of the two that currently has an explicit expansion plan.

Global Tech News Daily

The NWSL, which was formed in 2013 after Women’s Professional Soccer folded in 2012, started with eight teams. Since then, the league has had three expansion phases. The most recent phase saw Racing Louisville join the league in 2021, with Angel City and San Diego Wave set to debut in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup in March.

And the league has no plans to stop there. Discussions have been held about expanding to one of the major cities in Texas, either Austin or San Jose; Atlanta, which is one of the most vibrant football cities in the United States; and Canada, which took more prominence after the Canadian national team won gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Since its inception, the NWSL has worked to try and grow the game in the United States by having as many eyes on as many different teams as possible. While the league has said they do not want to rush expansion, they’ve been open about their end goal.

“Our efforts are very focused and specific to certain areas that we want to be strong for any team that does come into the league that’s going to help propel us at the top and help to elevate the league,” said Amanda Duffy, former president of the NWSL, back in 2019.

Welcome to the next evolution.

We are #AngelCityFC

— Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) October 21, 2020

On the other hand, the WSL has been quite conservative. When plans for the expansion of the second-tier Championship were confirmed, Kelly Simmons, the FA’s women’s professional game director, was asked when the same would happen for the top flight.

“What we’ve got to do is make sure that [the WSL] grows without diluting the quality of the product, that we’ve got enough, in the top tier, fully professional teams with the right support and the right amount of revenue,” she said.

“Obviously, the more teams we have, the more it dilutes central revenues that are being distributed to support them. With COVID as well, it’s really hard. We don’t know what the true impacts of COVID are in any industry yet.

“I think it would be high-risk to expand too early. [But] I think it’s inevitable in the medium term that it will expand.”

The NWSL currently will make whatever decision it needs to take to ensure that their teams are thriving, and if that means picking up teams and moving them to completely different cities, where the market for an NWSL team is more stable, so be it.

The North Carolina Courage were founded after their chairman bought the franchise rights from the Western New York Flash. Kansas City initially moved to Salt Lake City on the basis that there was an established interest in the men’s football team and college women’s football.

It may take some time, but as long as the NWSL continues expanding to different markets, the women’s game will continue to grow and spread to a diverse fan audience, something the league is clearly dead set on.

Financial investment

The WSL’s model is entirely different.

We would never see Reading pick up their operations and move to London simply because there is a larger fanbase in the capital. And that’s where the two leagues’ relationships with their male counterparts comes in.

The NWSL is a single-entity model. Clubs are not automatically attached to a Major League Soccer team – though some are under the same ownership group. On the other hand, every current WSL club is affiliated with a team competing either in the Premier League or the Championship.

This means that some of these clubs are being invested in by their incredibly rich counterparts who own their men’s teams.

Over the years, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City have had their fair share of successes, and Manchester United and Tottenham have slowly integrated themselves as future successful sides in the women’s game. It isn’t a coincidence that these are some of the most financially stable sides in the Premier League.

As Eniola Aluko, the former director of women’s football at Aston Villa and current sporting director of Angel City, told us: “I think the WSL actually has an advantage [when it comes to attracting talent] and I think Europe has an advantage because the clubs are established names.”

“You know, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City. All of the teams in the WSL are established Premier League clubs on the men’s side. So there’s a name association, there’s a brand power that comes with that, and the league is competitive, whereas the NWSL doesn’t have that, per se. It doesn’t have name recognition or brand recognition.”

Due to the extra financial support, the teams in the WSL pay their athletes significantly more than the NWSL, on average, because the league doesn’t have to abide by salary caps. Instead, they’re free to spend based on their club’s resources and revenue.

• • • •

WSL v NWSL: Is the English women’s top flight now the best in the world?
© PA Images Pundit Eniola Aluko during Newcastle United vs Norwich City at St James’ Park, Newcastle. Tuesday November 30, 2021.

• • • •

While there may be less competitiveness as a result, the financial disparity has allowed the WSL to attract some of the world’s best players, a feat that the NWSL struggles to do unless said players are American. The attraction of playing in the Champions League also helps the WSL’s cause.

An international focus has not been the NWSL teams’ strong suit, but it’s definitely something some teams are actively trying to change.

“My role really has been to try to build a team that is reflective of a strategy that is close to LA and close to the community… but also implementing an international strategy,” said Aluko.

“So bringing in players like Vanessa Gilles, Canadian captain, [Olympic] gold medal winner. It’s important for Angel City because again, it pitches us as an international side. Jun Endo is another Japanese signing that we’re bringing in.

“When you have players from different continents of the world, you are engaging fans from different continents and you are building out a different dimension to your team.”

The financial disparity between the WSL and NWSL may also shift in upcoming years due to the NWSL Players’ Association’s first-ever collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was signed at the beginning of Febraury 2022.

The CBA, which will run for the next five seasons until the end of 2026, includes a minimum salary increase of 60%, and revenue sharing meaning that players will be able to receive 10% of net broadcast revenues if the league is profitable in years three, four and five of the CBA. It also includes improved health benefits for the players.

Trinity Rodman, 18, daughter of NBA star Dennis (Google his friendship with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un) scores on her NWSL debut, having been drafted as the youngest player in the league’s

— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) April 10, 2021

This new deal will certainly see players in the NWSL making more annually. Just days after the CBA was signed, it was announced that Trinity Rodman signed a new four-year, $1.1million deal with the Washington Spirit, making her the highest-paid player in NWSL history.

For now though, the WSL still has the edge when it comes to star power on the pitch.

Draft system versus promotion and relegation

Possibly the biggest difference between the two leagues is the draft system versus the promotion and relegation rules.

As mentioned, the NWSL is a single entity, a model that is prevalent across all major sports leagues in the United States.

With no promotion and relegation, clubs rely on the NWSL Draft to rebuild season upon season. On Draft Day, teams select players in their final year of college, or those who have exhausted their collegiate eligibility. The draft order is dependent on the teams’ final position in the league the season prior. The lower you finish, the higher your pick.

The draft system helps grow the game immensely as it gives each team a reset button before each season. Any team, with the right draft selections, could win the league. The competitiveness and the unknown factor makes the league much more exciting for fans to watch.

• • • •

WSL v NWSL: Is the English women’s top flight now the best in the world?
© PA Images British-Ladies-Football-Club-1

• • • •

The draft system also means that every club has a set-up that is focused specifically on developing young players. Because they have to. If they don’t, they’d be unable to nurture the players they have drafted.

Being forced to have a proper youth development system means that there will always be a cycle of young and exciting talent emerging. The league can never become stagnant once a particular generation of players retires.

The promotion and relegation system certainly has its benefits as well, though.

In the WSL, every game matters. There is intense excitement to the season when, at the back end of the season, there are both title-deciding games and relegation six-pointers.

This means that you’re unlikely to see young players feature in high-stake matches in the WSL. Yet the NWSL, which has a playoff system, will have several matches, especially near the end of the season, that really do not matter in the grand scheme of things.

Fans of the NWSL can always look forward to following young players on their journey to the top, whereas in the WSL, it is again more about putting out the highest quality of players on the pitch and points on the board.

So which league is better?

It’s a tough one to answer. Whether intentional or not, the NWSL league relies on growing the game through appealing directly to fans, while the WSL relies on star-played power.

It should also be noted that women’s football should not be defined entirely by these two leagues.

The Primera Division currently boasts the best team in the world in Barcelona.

Division 1 Feminine has the best academies globally, making Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain some of the most competitive teams in Europe. There are strong arguments for other leagues to be considered as pillars for growing the game.

It’s unclear whether it’s language bias or if it’s part of the wider UK versus USA debate, but the fact is, the two leagues are constantly pitted against each other with fans, journalists, and players all constantly making a case for one or the other.

The NWSL have been much more clear on their goals to try and become the best and most dominant league. The WSL, on the other hand, have been much more tight-lipped.

The one aspect the two leagues do share is the load of talent. With continued investment, one can hope that both leagues continue to rise and elevate women’s football to greater heights.

By Yara El-Shaboury

More from Planet Football

News Related


Morning Report: Jorge Masvidal intends to expose ‘limited fighter’ and ‘fraud’ Colby Covington at UFC 272

© Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington will finally get to settle their blood feud in the main event of UFC 272 on March 5 in ... Read more »

Ukraine's army plans drills with drones, anti-tank missiles from Feb 10

© Reuters/UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian army holds drills in the Kherson region KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s army will conduct military drills from Feb. 10 to Feb. 20 in ... Read more »

Former prison governor facing time inside after sending WhatsApp messages to inmate

A former prison governor is facing jail after sending WhatsApp messages to an inmate. Victoria Laithwaite, who was governor at category C prison HMP Onley, Northamptonshire, admitted the offence in ... Read more »

Neo-Nazis and QAnon: how Canadian truckers’ anti-vaccine protest was steered by extremists

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Thousands of demonstrators have successfully occupied Canada’s frigid capital for days, and say they plan on staying as long as it ... Read more »

Ocado sees sales soar despite HGV driver shortage and warehouse fire

© PA Media Ocado financials Online grocer Ocado has revealed sales grew last year as it continued to benefit from a surge in internet shopping during the pandemic. Customer numbers ... Read more »

Hidden Gems: The new and improved Wendell Carter Jr.

© Provided by Sporting News Sometimes, all a player needs is a change of scenery.  Wendell Carter Jr. was one of those players. Coming to Chicago with the seventh pick ... Read more »

Joe Mixon: After five years here, I feel like I’m living in a movie

Much has been made of the Bengals going from six wins over the last two seasons to the Super Bowl this year, but their run of losing seasons extended beyond ... Read more »

Tom Brady won't rule out potential return to the NFL despite retirement: 'Never say never'

© Provided by Sporting News Tom Brady is hardly a week into retirement and already he’s speaking about a potential return to the NFL. The topic was broached during Brady’s ... Read more »

Balaclava-wearing gang calling themselves the 'Convict Resistance' BURN the Aboriginal flag alongside a racial slur against Indigenous senator Lidia Thorpe - before performing a Nazi salute

A gang of neo Nazis has set fire to an Aboriginal flag in disturbing video The group - 'Warriors of Convict Resistance' - also made threats against SenatorAfter burning the flag, the men then pose for the camera in a Nazi salute  Read more »

Leipzig pas disposé à vendre Nkunku cet été

© Fournis par Sofoot Grands clubs européens, passez votre chemin. Le directeur général du RB Leipzig Oliver Mintzlaff a accordé une interview à Sky ce dimanche, dans laquelle il évoque ... Read more »

Blech für Rodlerin Madeleine Egle + Snowboarder holten Gold und Silber

Die wichtigsten News und Ergebnisse rund um die Olympischen Winterspiele in Peking auf einem Blick zusammengefasst. © APA/AFP/BEN STANSALL / BEN STANSALL Unter Schatten und Last der Corona-Pandemie finden ab ... Read more »

Trusted Tuchel ally confirms crucial selection decision still to be made for Club World Cup

Zsolt Low, assistant coach to Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, has revealed talks must be held to decide at least one aspect of their lineup for their first Club World Cup ... Read more »

New giant Welsh teen turns heads on English Premiership debut that 'oozed class and physicality'

© Bob Bradford – CameraSport via Getty Images Dafydd Jenkins in action for Exeter Chiefs during their Gallagher Premiership clash with Wasps at Sandy Park It’s fair to say Welsh ... Read more »

What Mohamed Salah did in Egypt dressing room moments after AFCON final defeat

© AnfieldEdition Salah addresses his team-mates after the game Mohamed Salah told his Egypt team-mates that they would get “revenge” on Senegal in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s clash between ... Read more »

Kurt Zouma responds after being condemned by West Ham amid shocking video of him kicking his cat

© Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images West Ham United have condemned Kurt Zouma’s actions after a video emerged of the Frenchman kicking his cat. (Photo by ... Read more »

Mållöst på Skytteholm efter händelsefattig match

© Tillhandahålls av Fotbolldirekt AIK mot Täby FK på Skytteholms IP. Det är en väldig rotation i AIK:s elva i jämförelse med matchen mot Degerfors.  AIK hade stora problem offensivt ... Read more »

Danny Murphy hails 'outstanding' Aston Villa loanee

© PA Nottingham Forest’s Keinan Davis Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has praised Keinan Davis’ ‘outstanding’ performance against Leicester City as the on loan Aston Villa striker continues to impress ... Read more »

UPPGIFTER: IFK Värnamo vill värva från Pekings samarbetsklubb

© Tillhandahålls av Fotbolldirekt Hampus Näsström, som tillhör IF Sylvia, kan vara på väg bort från Ettan norra.  Enligt uppgifter från NT-sporten är IFK Värnamo intresserade av 27-åringen.   – ... Read more »

Manchester United starlet rejected EFL move in the summer

In the summer, promising Manchester United talent, Hannibal Mejbri was offered the chance to embark on a loan spell with Reading, as per a report from The Athletic.  The report ... Read more »

Sadio Mane, Mo Salah headline best Afcon XI, Benni McCarthy's goalscoring mark erased

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Cape Town — Africa’s two most prized footballers, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, headline the Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament which ... Read more »

Folarin Balogun at Middlesbrough: How’s it gone so far? What issues does he face? What’s next?

Folarin Balogun arrived at Middlesbrough on a temporary spell from Arsenal midway through the January transfer window.  The 20-year-old netted 13 times in 11 Premier League 2 matches for Arsenal’s ... Read more »

Robert Snodgrass and the Aberdeen vs Hibs transfer temptation that 'elite' Scott Brown can swing

© Sammy Turner/SNS Group Brown and Snodgrass know each other well He’s enjoyed a career to remember so far and Robert Snodgrass certainly isn’t short when it comes to options ... Read more »

Everton handed massive injury boost pre-NUFC, fans will be delighted - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast calvert lewin efc Everton have further fortune in their favour after their fantastic FA Cup win at the weekend, with a fresh update on injuries ... Read more »

Max Verstappen's brutal comment to Lewis Hamilton over world title loss

Max Verstappen has brutally shown no mercy towards Lewis Hamilton after controversially pipping him to last season’s Formula One title. The 2021 world champion shrugged off talk of feeling sympathy ... Read more »

South Africa: Springboks’ home Test schedule for 2022 confirmed

© PA Images Springboks-huddle-at-training-2021-PA The Springboks are scheduled to face Wales in three Test matches in the Incoming series in July, before hosting the All Blacks and Argentina in the ... Read more »

Quiz: Did Stoke City win, lose or draw in each of these 25 games this season?

© Provided by Football League World Championship – Stoke City v Fulham Stoke City will be eager to get themselves back towards the play-off places in the coming weeks and ... Read more »

Roy Keane to Sunderland: What does he offer? What EFL experience does he have? Can he get them promoted?

Sunderland’s managerial search has come down to two candidates, Football League World exclusively learnt yesterday.  The report states that Roy Keane and Grant McCann are the two options that the ... Read more »

DNCE announce their return and departure of Cole Whittle

© Bang Showbiz Joe Jonas’ DNCE confirm new music as trio Joe Jonas’ DNCE are reuniting without bassist Cole Whittle. The Jonas Brothers star has confirmed the ‘Cake By The ... Read more »

Eight things you should know about beloved North East rock star Sam Fender

North Shields rock star Sam Fender is up for a number of coveted Brit Awards at tonight’s ceremony, after a fantastic couple of years saw him shoot into stardom. Sam ... Read more »

Gerard Butler boards new heist thriller Just Watch Me

© Bang Showbiz Gerard Butler to star in heist thriller Gerard Butler is to play a thief in the new heist thriller ‘Just Watch Me’. The 52-year-old actor has boarded ... Read more »

E' della McLaren la primissima F1 in... Lego Technic

In attesa di scoprire come sarà la McLaren che sarà sulla griglia della Formula 1 nel 2022, la cui presentazione avverrà la sera di venerdì 11 febbraio, la scuderia di ... Read more »

Pioli, Ibrahimovic è un leone in gabbia

(ANSA) – MILANO, 08 FEB – “Zlatan è un leone in gabbia. La sua ambizione è aiutare la squadra in campo. Sta facendo di tutto per recuperare domani non sarà ... Read more »

17 players we can't believe are still playing in 2022: Fred, Santa Cruz…

Footballers seem only to get younger. Every week, a new outrageously talented, fresh-faced whippersnapper pops up in some corner of the globe scoring a wondergoal or pulling off a sublime ... Read more »

Brescia nel caos: Diego Lopez ha rinunciato alla panchina

Che sta succedendo al Brescia? Il caos scatenato dal presidente Massimo Cellino dopo lo 0-0 di Cosenza non si è ancora calmato e anzi, dopo l’esonero inatteso di Pippo Inzaghi ... Read more »

Formula One bosses decide to ditch knee-taking ritual before races

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) London — Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali says drivers will no longer be given the formal opportunity to take a knee before races, stressing ... Read more »

Edendale Technical High School girls' football team to represent SA in continental tournaments in DRC

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) The MEC for the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Kwazi Mshengu, has congratulated the girls’ football team at Edendale Technical High School in Pietermaritzburg ... Read more »

Sprint: Norway's Johannes Høsflot Klæbo defends Olympic gold

Norwegian cross-country athlete Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo defended his men’s sprint title for his fourth Olympic gold medal. Italian Federico Pellegrino once again took silver (as was the case in 2018), ... Read more »

Logan Mailloux ratera deux à trois semaines d'activités

© Fournis par Blessé, Logan Mailloux ratera deux à trois semaines d’activités Ça fait désormais plus d’un mois que la suspension de Logan Mailloux a été levée dans la ... Read more »

Driver injured by shards of glass after brick thrown at moving train in Greater Manchester

The driver - who has not been named - was taken to hospital for treatment and is now recovering at home. Read more »

Sam Fender's former school teacher wishes him good luck ahead of Brit Awards

Sam Fender’s former head of sixth form has shared a kind message ahead of tonight’s Brit Awards ceremony where the North Shields star is up for three awards. The frontman ... Read more »