Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes says Barclays’ multi-million pound sponsorship of England’s Women’s Super League is a watershed moment for the game.
Barclays Bank was announced as the first title sponsor of the Women’s Super League on Wednesday in a deal understood to be worth more than £10 million ($13 million).
The three-year partnership will start from next season, with the competition rebranded as the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
It will feature a prize-money pot of £500,000 after previous WSL winners were not awarded any official financial reward for lifting the title.
Hayes, whose side host Paris St Germain in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals on Thursday, believes Barclays’ investment shows the WSL is on the rise after years in the shadow of the men’s game.
“The women’s game is at a tipping point. I have been saying for some time that this year would be the watershed moment, and today’s announcement demonstrates that we have got the pulling power to bring the very best to the league,” Hayes said.
“Tell me a league in the women’s game that can attract a sponsor like Barclays with their level of investment? It is absolutely brilliant news, and a significant step in the right direction.”