Football Association plan to introduce second tier to Women's Super League
Lincoln Ladies and their Super League rivals will be at the heart of a masterplan to make women's football the second most played sport in the country.
The Football Association have outlined a five year vision aimed at increasing the popularity of the women's game and growing its fan base.
Central to the plan will be the introduction of a second tier of the Women's Super League in 2014, and with it promotion and relegation.
253,600 women footballers play every month and the FA hopes to build on that number after seeing the potential of the sport at the London Olympics, when 70,584 fans turned up to see Team GB beat Brazil in a group match at Wembley.
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The FA also wants to increase broadcasting and commercial opportunities with television rights sold separately from the men's game for the first time.
£3.5m will be invested over the next four years to develop an Elite Performance Unit as the FA plans to nurture the best young talent.
FA chairman David Bernstein feels the sport has the capacity to grow.
"Women's football is the area with the most potential for growth in the nation's favourite game," he said.
"We are determined to lead development at every level and have created a robust plan for doing so using all our resources and knowledge."
England coach Hope Powell believes the changes can help propel the national team up the world rankings. England are currently eighth.
"This ambitious and wide-ranging plan sets out the basis of what we are trying to achieve," she said.
"The FA wants to build winning teams and the establishment of the performance unit and the Super League Two will hopefully help our ultimate goal, which is to win something.
"But we have to remember that the likes of Germany and France are doing things too and at the moment they are ahead of us."