WALES has become the first country in the UK, and only the third in Europe, to drop ‘women’s’ from the name of its female football league. 

The Football Association of Wales this morning announced the restructured league will be known as the Genero Adran Leagues. 

It will consist of an eight-team top tier, the Adran Premier with a regional second tier with eight teams competing in both the Adran North and Adran South. 

When the FAW first revealed its shakeup of the women’s game in May there was outcry after both Abergavenny Women's FC, who had been in the top league of Welsh women’s football for nine years and won it twice, and Caerphilly’s Cascade FC lost their top tier status despite finishing above the relegation places. 

The governing body had also been criticised for granting a top flight spot to TNS, who have dominated the men’s league, despite the club not currently having a women’s side.


The FAW, which had stood by its decision amid criticism from clubs and politicians, has said the new format will mark a new era when the league gets under way in September. 

It said the decision to remove ‘women’s’ from the rebranded league name is to create parity across all FAW leagues, making Wales only the third country in Europe to make such a move and the first in the UK. ‘Adran’ continues the FAW’s commitment to using the Welsh language, meaning ‘division’.   

READ MORE: Government refuses to intervene in FAW women's league shake-up

Lowri Roberts, head of women’s football at the FAW, said: “We want our players to feel empowered every time they step onto the pitch. Football has exactly the same rules no matter what gender you identify as, what country you’re from or what language you speak. In this new chapter for the domestic game in Wales, we want to make a statement that by removing ‘women’s’ from the league name, the game remains exactly the same – it’s football.” 

She said the restructure is intended to improve the women’s game in Wales and help the country qualify for a first major, women’s championship. 

The Adran Leagues are sponsored by Genero, a production and creative events agency that has been established for 20 years. The two-year deal between Genero and the Adran Leagues is the most lucrative sponsorship of women’s domestic football in Wales to date.  

Genero’s managing director, Peter Leckie, said: “At Genero we are passionate about creating positive change and this is an exciting new chapter for the domestic game in Wales and one we are proud to be a part of.” 

Players, fans and media were all involved in the rebranding of the league, taking part in focus groups and forums to inform the new name and brand. 

As well as the three senior divisions, an Under 19s league has been introduced to bridge the gap between youth and senior football with over 20 brand new teams across Wales. 

In the Adran Premier, eight teams - Cardiff Met, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Port Talbot Town, The New Saints, Aberystwyth Town, Pontypridd Town and Barry Town United - play home and away. After these 14 matches, the top four clubs then play against each other and the same for the bottom four clubs, both home and away. The Adran Premier champion will represent Wales in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The team finishing 8th will be relegated to the Adran South / North.  

The eight Adran South and Adran North teams will play home and away. The North and South winners will compete in a play off with the winner promoted to the Adran Premier. 

This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.