A women’s equivalent of the Club World Cup and Europa League could be on the horizon, according to the European Club Association (ECA).
The body, which represents all of Europe’s big clubs, has launched its first women’s football strategy, ‘Be a Changemaker’, which includes proposals for the future of the elite game.
Part of that is to replicate men’s football by creating a women’s Club World Cup, featuring the winners of continental competitions around the world, and the introduction of a second-tier European club competition.
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A new format for the Women’s Champions League has already been announced for next season, which will include three English sides rather than the current two.
"The prospect of a Club World Cup, fairly soon in the women's game, assuming that calendars can be resolved, is a really exciting one and I know FIFA is very keen on it as well," said ECA chief executive Charlie Marshall.
In the women's game there is much more potential, much more quickly, to develop global competitive balance.
The organisation’s head of women’s football, Claire Bloomfield, says proposals are also underway to lobby UEFA for an equivalent of the men’s Europa League: "We have a responsibility to explore all opportunities that can help grow the competition landscape, both on a European level with a second-tier competition and then on a much more global scale, with a possible Club World Cup”.
The six main points in the ECA's women's football strategy are:
  • Enhance club player pathways to provide a prosperous and sustainable future for the game
  • Accelerate professionalisation, empowering clubs to reach, maintain and exceed improved minimum standards
  • Advance the economic development of women’s football and identify new commercial opportunities
  • Boost the opportunities for clubs to realise European ambitions through the development of the competition landscape
  • Facilitate the successful creation of new women’s football clubs across Europe
  • Produce ‘first of its kind’ research studies that become a reference point for the women’s game globally
“We are part of a growing movement committed to making a transformative difference to the women’s game", said Bloomfield.
"But you can’t delegate change, you have to lead it, and at ECA, along with our member clubs, that’s exactly what we intend to do.
We will chip away at the age-old argument ‘it wouldn’t happen in the men’s game’ and break free from the shackles that have held women’s football back for so long.
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