|Founded||25 October 2008|
|Confederation||Asian Football Confederation|
|Number of teams||9|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|International cup(s)||AFC Women's Club Championship|
|Current champions||Melbourne City (4th title)|
|Current premiers||Melbourne City (2nd title)|
|Most championships||Melbourne City (4 titles)|
|Most premierships||Brisbane Roar|
(both 3 titles)
|TV partners||ABC (Australia)|
Fox Sports (Australia)
Sky Sport (New Zealand)
beIN Sports (New Zealand and Southeast Asia)
Pasifika TV (Pacific)
BT Sport (Ireland and UK)
|Current: 2020-21 W-League|
The W-League is the top-division women's soccer league in Australia. The W-League was established in 2008 by Football Federation Australia and was composed of eight teams of which seven had an affiliation with an A-League club, and the other was a new entity based in Canberra. The league is currently contested by nine teams. The competition is known as the Westfield W-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Westfield Group.
Seasons typically run from November to February and include a 12-round regular season and an end-of-season finals series playoff tournament involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a Grand Final match. The winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed 'Premier' and the winner of the grand final is 'Champion'. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of five clubs have been crowned W-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned W-League Champions.
Melbourne City are the current Premiers and Champions, having won the Grand Final for a record fourth time.
After Australia qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, head coach Tom Sermanni felt the establishment of a professional league was vital for continuing the development of players.Football Federation Australia established the league the following year. The W-League was initially composed of eight teams: Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory, and Sydney FC. Seven of the eight teams were affiliated with A-League clubs, and shared their names and colours to promote their brands. The eighth club was Canberra United.
The W-League's inaugural season commenced on 25 October 2008, with Perth hosting Sydney at Members Equity Stadium. After ten rounds, the regular season finished with Queensland Roar as the top-placed team, becoming the first W-League premiers, and advancing to the semi-finals along with the second-, third- and fourth-placed teams. Queensland faced Canberra in the 2009 W-League Grand Final, defeating them 2-0 to take the champions trophy.
When Western Sydney Wanderers joined the A-League for the 2012-13 season, they also entered a team into the W-League, returning the competition to eight teams. From 2012 to 2014, the W-League champion team qualified into an international competition, the International Women's Club Championship.
On 13 May 2015, Melbourne City were confirmed to compete in the W-League from the 2015-16 season. The club had a remarkable inaugural season, winning all 12 of its regular season games and winning the Grand Final.
From the inception of the competition the league was run by Football Federation Australia, the governing body for the sport in Australia. In July 2019, the FFA relinquished operational control of the league to each of the clubs, represented by the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association.
The W-League regular season typically runs from November to February and consists of 12 games per team, with the highest ranked team winning the title of "Premier". The top four teams in the regular season then advance to the single-game knockout semifinals, with the Champion determined by the victor of the Grand Final.
|Adelaide United||Adelaide, South Australia||Adelaide Shores Football Centre
Marden Sports Complex
|2008||2008||Ivan Karlovi?||Amber Brooks||6th||6th|
|Brisbane Roar||Brisbane, Queensland||Dolphin Oval
Lions Stadium, Brisbane
|2008||2008||Jake Goodship||Clare Polkinghorne||1st||2nd|
|Canberra United||Canberra, Australian Capital Territory||McKellar Park
|2008||2008||Heather Garriock|| Nikola Orgill
|Melbourne City||Melbourne, Victoria||Frank Holohan Soccer Complex
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
|2015||2015||Rado Vido?i?||Steph Catley||1st||5th|
|Melbourne Victory||Melbourne, Victoria||Lakeside Stadium
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
John Ilhan Memorial Reserve
|2008||2008||Jeff Hopkins||Natasha Dowie||1st||1st|
|Newcastle Jets||Newcastle, New South Wales||Wanderers Oval
|2008||2008||Ashley Wilson|| Cassidy Davis
|Perth Glory||Perth, Western Australia||Dorrien Gardens
Hay Park, Bunbury
|2008||2008||Bobby Despotovski||Natasha Rigby||1st||4th|
|Sydney FC||Sydney, New South Wales||Jubilee Stadium
Seymour Shaw Park
|2008||2008||Ante Juric||Teresa Polias||4th||8th|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||Sydney, New South Wales||Marconi Stadium
|2012||2012||Dean Heffernan||Erica Halloway||6th||9th|
|Team||Location||Stadium||Capacity||Founded||Joined||Dissolved||Last head coach||Last captain||Highest
|Central Coast Mariners||Gosford, New South Wales||Central Coast Stadium||20,059||2008||2008||2009||Stephen Roche||Caitlin Cooper||2nd||2nd|
Performance and ranking of clubs based on their best regular season result in the W-League.
|1||Brisbane Roar||1st (three times)||1||3||2||2||1||4||6||4||7||1||2||5|
|2||Canberra United||1st (three times)||3||4||3||1||5||1||3||2||1||5||8||6|
|3||Sydney FC||1st (twice)||4||1||1||3||4||2||4||3||3||2||3||3|
|4||Melbourne City||1st (twice)||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||1||4||4||5||1|
|8||Central Coast Mariners||2nd||6||2||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|9||Western Sydney Wanderers||3rd||--||--||--||--||6||7||8||7||8||8||9||3|
Legend: Team names in italics indicates the club is no longer a current W-League member.
A W-League squad is required to have a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 26 players. Players typically receive a one-season contract, with many playing in leagues in other countries during the W-League's off-season. Due to the W-League's season running during the off-season of several leagues around the world, many foreign players have played for teams in the W-League and vice versa.
In 2015, teams in the W-League had a salary cap of A$150,000. Individual player salaries vary, with one player reporting to The Sydney Morning Herald in 2012 that whilst some players earn $10,000, others earn nothing. In 2014, it was reported that Sydney FC players were paid salaries ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. Players can also earn money playing overseas and may therefore be considered by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) as professional.
For the 2017-18 season a minimum salary was introduced at A$10,000. The average salary therefore rose from A$15,500 to A$17,400. A salary cap was set at A$300,000.
The 2018-19 season marked the first time that fans were able to watch every W-League game. All matches were broadcast or streamed on Fox Sports, SBS Viceland and the My Football Live app. Thursday Night Football was also introduced, meaning 13 stand-alone regular season matches will be played in prime-time and broadcast live on Fox Sports. The Football Federation Australia (FFA) reached a deal with ESPN+ for broadcast rights to W-League games in the United States. ESPN+ will carry at least 17 W-League matches in the 2018-19 season. For the first time ever W-League games would be broadcast on YouTube and Twitter in territories without a traditional broadcast partner. Since July 2019, Foxtel has broadcast all matches and ABC has broadcast one match per round live on its primary channel.
The W-League features Women Referees and Assistant Referees from Australia. Current referees include:
|Season||Premiers (regular season winners)||Champions (Grand Final winners)|
|2008-09||Queensland Roar||Queensland Roar|
|2009||Sydney FC||Sydney FC|
|2010-11||Sydney FC||Brisbane Roar|
|2011-12||Canberra United||Canberra United|
|2012-13||Brisbane Roar||Sydney FC|
|2013-14||Canberra United||Melbourne Victory|
|2014||Perth Glory||Canberra United|
|2015-16||Melbourne City||Melbourne City|
|2016-17||Canberra United||Melbourne City|
|2017-18||Brisbane Roar||Melbourne City|
|2018-19||Melbourne Victory||Sydney FC|
|2019-20||Melbourne City||Melbourne City|
Queensland Roar changed their name to Brisbane Roar for the 2009 season.
|8||Lisa De Vanna||39|
While this is not a full-time professional workload wage, the women can also earn money playing overseas and are therefore considered by the PFA to be categorised as professional.