England's Women's Super League names Barclays title sponsor

Women's club soccer in Europe continues to gain corporate support with the announcement that Barclays will become the first title sponsor of England's Women’s Super League.

The three-year partnership running until 2022 was valued at 10 million pounds ($13.2 million).

The 11-team Super League will award prize money of 500,000 pounds ($660,000) based on the final standings. The sponsorship will also have a grassroots component to promote women's soccer in 6,000 British schools.

“The FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships will help thousands more girls in England to take up sport and we look forward to partnering with The FA to deliver that,” said American Jes Staley, Barclays' chief executive. “Barclays’ multi-year investment is also our salute to the professionalism of The FA Women’s Super League players, and we hope it will help take the game to new heights, making England’s domestic league a world leader.”

Like the NWSL, Europe's top leagues struggle because of a huge gap between the funding of the top and bottom teams. Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are the top three teams in the Super League. But the Barclays' sponsorship deal comes a day after the Super League's Yeovil Town announced it was laying off its general manager, assistant general manager and communications manager and might drop out of the professional ranks because of the lack of revenues.

UEFA. In December, Visa has signed a seven-year deal with UEFA to sponsor the European women’s game at all levels, the first deal signed since UEFA unbundled sponsorship rights from the men’s game in order to create more and unique commercial opportunities for women's soccer.

On Wednesday, reigning champion Lyon beat Wolfsburg, 2-1, in their UEFA Women's Champions League quarterfinal match before 17,840 fans at the Groupama Stadium, which will host the 2019 Women's World Cup semifinals and final.
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