Second-tier UEFA tournament for women's clubs 'closer than ever'

Second-tier UEFA tournament for women’s clubs ‘closer than ever’, with Europa League-style format considered following complaints about the qualifying system for the Champions League

  • UEFA are reportedly considering a second-tier competition for women’s clubs
  • Arsenal and Man United both crashed out in Champions League qualifying 
  • Manchester United in a mess – they have a collapse in them – It’s All Kicking Off

UEFA are considering introducing a second-tier competition for women’s clubs as early as 2025, according to a new report.

There is currently only the Women’s Champions League for club sides across Europe, while there are three men’s competitions, including the Europa League and the Europa Conference League. 

Man United manager Marc Skinner slammed the ‘crazy’ qualifying system for the Women’s Champions League as his side were eliminated in the qualifying round in October, while Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal saw their European run ended earlier still. 

The Telegraph report that a Europa League-style competition for women’s clubs will be considered at this weekend’s UEFA Executive Committee (ExCo) in Hamburg, Germany, although it would likely have a different name and structure to the men’s equivalent. 

An insider at the organisation said the second-tier tournament was ‘closer than ever’, but needs approval on Saturday, whilst they are also considering changes to the current Champions League format, which saw two of last season’s semi-finalists ejected in the qualifying, with Arsenal and German side Wolfsburg both falling short. 

UEFA are reportedly considering a Europa League-style tournament for women’s clubs

Man United boss Marc Skinner blasted the ‘crazy’ Champions League format after their exit

Any changes would come in at the end of the current cycle of tournaments in the women’s game, which runs until the end of the 2024-25 campaign. 

England is currently down in fourth in UEFA’s coefficient rankings, lagging behind France, Germany and Spain, and the club ranking system will take a hit after Chelsea were the only side to make the group stage of the 2023-24 Champions League, despite the Blues and Arsenal both being semi-finalists last term.

Eidevall’s Arsenal were eliminated from this year’s tournament after losing on penalties to Paris FC in September. 

The following month, Man United’s manager Skinner hit out at the Champions League format after his side were eliminated by PSG over two legs. 

Skinner said: ‘There are teams going through to this competition [group stage] that are not good enough. Our standard is better than that standard, and it’s crazy that we have to play PSG at this qualifying round, crazy. And it needs to be something that’s addressed.

‘The word is: crazy. You saw how hard we had to work last year to get into a qualifying round? It’s crazy right? Look how far Arsenal went last year, look how far Chelsea went, and yet we’re still having to qualify? 

‘It doesn’t work. And if something doesn’t work, you should look at fixing it. What I mean is there are other teams in other leagues, Wolfsburg have gone out tonight, they were in the final last year, mad, that can’t happen right? 

‘One or two games and you’re out of the Champions League? But you get through to the Group Stage and you get your momentum and can run with it and the best teams get through. I don’t think right now that the best teams are getting out of these qualifying rounds.’ 

Arsenal are the only British side to have won a major women’s club-level European title, having won what was then called the UEFA Women’s Cup in 2007.

Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League after losing on penalties to Paris FC

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