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The FA at loggerheads with Women’s Super League clubs over transfer fees for U18 players

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The FA at loggerheads with top Women’s Super League clubs after resisting calls to introduce transfer fees for players under the age of 18

  • Players under 18 can move between clubs without compensation in the WSL
  • Clubs have argued to the FA that not providing compensation is discriminatory
  • Set-up plays into the hands of bigger clubs, who hoover up the best young talent 

The FA are at loggerheads with leading clubs over their attempts to professionalise the women’s game with the governing body resisting calls to introduce transfer fees for players aged under 18.

Sportsmail has learned that a number of Women’s Super League clubs have been lobbying the FA for over two years to address the issue of players moving on free transfers before the age of 18, which they argue is hindering development of future stars.

Women players can move before signing a first professional contract at 18 without their club receiving compensation. This is in contrast to the men’s game in which a detailed system of compensation has been established by FIFA.

Chelsea and Manchester City have been able to hoover up the best young talent

A number of WSL clubs have argued to the FA that not providing compensation is discriminatory and provides little incentive for clubs to produce their own players.

The set-up plays into the hands of bigger clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City, who hoover up the best young talent. The FA have acknowledged the clubs’ grievances, but have said nothing is likely to change for at least two years.

There is internal wrangling within the women’s game. Sportsmail revealed last week that the FA rejected an offer of £150million from a US private equity firm who want to buy into the WSL, a proposal that was supported by several clubs and is likely to be revisited.

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