All LOIW clubs are now subject to licensing, what does it mean for the future of women's football?

All LOIW clubs are now subject to licensing, what does it mean for the future of women's football?
Alanna Cunnane
Alanna Cunnane

The FAI today announced that all 11 LOIW clubs are now subject to licensing, but what does that mean for the future of women's football in Ireland and why has it just come in at this particular period in time?

What does a club licensing policy mean in reality?

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The FAI’s club licensing policy was brought in within the men’s side of the game in 2004, to “ensure that clubs participating in the SSE Airtricity League were maintaining certain standards.”

It focuses on five key areas, ranging from sporting, to infrastructure, legal, personnel, and finance, with the overall view to improving coaching, administrative, grounds upkeep and event management practices throughout the league.

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Who has implemented that LOIW clubs are now subject to licensing?

The FAI, alongside the Independent Licensing Committee award the licences, and have today done so for Athlone Town AFC, Bohemian FC, Cork City FC, DLR Waves, Galway United FC, Peamount United FC, Shamrock Rovers FC, Shelbourne FC, Sligo Rovers FC, Treaty United FC and Wexford FC in the Women’s Premier Division ahead of the 2024 season.

On the move, League of Ireland Director, Mark Scanlon highlighted how it was “another progressive step for the League of Ireland.”

“This is an important step for the raising of standards for the women’s game in Ireland and we look forward to working together with our Club Licensing Department and the Clubs to help drive the development of women’s football and build on the excellent progress that has been made in recent years,” he added.

LOIW clubs are now subject to licensing, what are the guidelines?

Last year FIFA published its first-ever Club Licensing Guide for women’s football in the hope it would serve as a practical tool in aiding clubs around the world in making this change.

Available to view in full here, it emphasises the need for structures and pathways, as well as functional ways in which to put them into practice via step by step guides and advice from various industry experts.

Similarly to this, the FAI have their own protocols in regards to their men’s club licensing agreements, available to view here.

One would imagine over the coming weeks and months prior to the kick off of the 2024 season an updated or amended document will be provided to reflect the addition of the women’s game, either as one article or two unique papers.

It comes as UEFA insisted on their own Club Licensing Regulations for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, which came into effect as of June of this year.

 

 

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