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Workshopping a solution: how UEFA is developing women's football off the pitch

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UEFA's Business Case for Women's Football project is creating opportunities for growth across Europe.

National associations, leagues and clubs across Europe are benefiting from the on-going rollout of UEFA's Business Case for Women's Football project.

The project was launched in August 2022 with the release of an external Report following last year's UEFA Women's EURO 2022 and the first season of the new UEFA Women's Champions League format. The report highlights the progress made in several key areas of women's football in recent years but more importantly, the exciting possibilities and huge potential for growth in both fanbase and commercial value of the women’s club game.

Since the launch of the report, UEFA's team of women's football development experts have been using the unprecedented range of data that was collected to create bespoke reports for both leagues and clubs, and provide tailored insight into their own contexts. Not only does this help to identify priority opportunities and challenges specific to these organisations, but also supports the design of successful strategies that enable long-term development. This has already had several successes and impacts across Europe, including contributing to the development of a new strategy for Sweden's Damallsvenskan, which was launched in March.

Building on these reports, UEFA also hosts workshops in collaboration with top women’s leagues, where executives from all top-division clubs can learn from the data, receive additional insights into the opportunities that are relevant to them, and to work alongside other experienced stakeholders from across football to identify action plans and seize those opportunities.

Workshops have so far taken place in five countries – Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania, with more to follow in the coming months, and the impacts are already being felt.

How are the Business Case for Women's Football workshops helping?

Lucienne Reichardt, women's football manager, Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB):

"The report offers a forward-looking and practical view of the growth potential of Dutch women's football. These results are very useful to know for us as an association and for the clubs. The data presented by UEFA during the workshop will help clubs and associations develop plans for the future of women's football."

Emma Bârsan, women’s football development manager, Romanian Football Federation (FRF):

"Since 2015, women’s football development was one of the main pillars of the Romanian Football Federation. We’ve made important steps in developing a path for the players in the last years, by creating youth competitions from U11 to U17!

"Now, after we’ve increased the participation, it’s time to focus on the quality of the game and make the next steps to professionalise the league. The Business Case project launched by UEFA fits perfectly to our currently objectives and the data provided by the league survey will be the foundation for the growth of our league.

"We’re very happy that since the workshop we were able to engage more with the clubs on this matter and to align our goals to the vision that we’ve set together during the workshop: educate more specialists, approving the first club licensing for the first league starting the next season and continuing to increase the visibility of women’s game by broadcasted two games per round!"

Annika Grälls, president, ElitFotball Dam, Swedish Football Association (SvFF)

"We are very grateful for the analysis that UEFA provided regarding opportunities for further growth in the women's game. With this input, which is a huge benefit to our leagues and clubs, we were able to set concrete goals regarding the progress and achievement we want to fulfil. This links directly to our new strategy and thanks to this work, we able to steadily track our progress and develop the club game within Sweden."

Download the Business Case for Women's Football

More on The Business Case for Women's Football

Delivering on commitments outlined in Time for Action, UEFA’s women’s football strategy, The Business Case for Women's Football provides comprehensive reasoning for increasing investment in the game and a clear methodology and explanation of its findings.

Focusing primarily on the club game, it gives a clear understanding of the sport’s potential for growth, outlines the benefits increased investment can bring and offers guidance on how to maximise return on this investment in five key areas:

- Develop strategies and business plans
- Raise standards and professionalism on and off the pitch
- Build a sustainable ecosystem
- Increase visibility and strengthen audience engagement
- Build on the unique strengths of the women’s game

The report was produced after consultation with 42 leagues, 162 clubs, ECA and 11 commercial partners, as well as 30 in-depth interviews with top executives and consumer research across 14 markets and more than 20,000 individuals.

For more information, please contact valueofwomensfootball@uefa.ch

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