Women’s World Cup 2023: What next for England and Sarina Wiegman?

When England return from Australia and the dust settles, they will be looking forward to what comes after their defeat in the Women’s World Cup final.

A first-ever Women’s Nations League, qualification for the Olympic Games and a defense of the European crown are all things to look forward to in the calendar for the next two years.

But off the field there are still many talking points, including discussions over player bonus payments and a potential renewal of manager Sarina Wegman’s contract.

What after Wegman and Bronze?

Wiegmann became the first manager to reach the final of the Women’s World Cup with two teams in back-to-back tournaments and is widely regarded as the best coach in football.

It’s no surprise, then, that speculation surrounding her future was rife in the run-up to the final.

CEO of the Football Association Mark Bullingham said She ‘100% rejects’ any approach to Wiegman after she was listed as a possible candidate to take over the vacant USA – and Dutch woman she said herself She has no plans to leave England.

But with her contract expiring in 2025, ahead of the next World Cup, Wiegmann was asked if defeat this year would lead her to find success again with England in 2027.

“Four years is a long time,” Wegman said. “We have a very short period ahead of us, but we will start in September with Scotland and the Netherlands in the Nations League to qualify for the Olympics.”

She later added, “I hope in the future to have a new moment with the team I work with. That would be great, because it’s very special to play the finals.”

Meanwhile, one of England’s most experienced players, Barcelona full-back Lucy Bronze, at 31, was playing in her third World Cup and again failed to win the trophy.

Asked if she needed some time to decide her future, she said firmly: “I’m not going to retire from England if that’s what you mean.”

After winning UEFA Euro 2022, players Ellen White and Jill Scott announced their retirement.

The oldest member of the current squad is Laura Coombs at 32, but her career in England is still in its infancy and it seems unlikely that any other player will follow Wyatt and Scott’s lead this time around.

Can players agree to pay bonuses?

England players headed into the World Cup in a dispute with the Football Association Performance related rewards.

They said they were “frustrated” with the FA over its decision not to award players bonuses, but agreed to stop negotiations during the tournament.

This year, for the first time at the Women’s World Cup, players will receive individual payments directly from FIFA, and the Lionesses are set to collect £153,000 each for reaching the final.

Bullingham said the dispute “will be resolved after the tournament”.

“They had a very strong argument before the World Cup and a very strong argument afterwards, but the truth is that there is a discussion to be had,” he added.

England set off home from Sydney on Monday afternoon, and the players and coaching staff will then get some rest, so negotiations may not be resolved for several weeks.

Qualifying for the Nations League and the Olympics

It wasn’t long before the Lionesses met up again for UEFA Nations League action in September – the inaugural season of the three-league tournament which will follow a similar format to the men’s event.

England are in League A, which has four groups. The world champion runner-up will meet Scotland and the Netherlands next month, while Belgium will complete its group.

Teams play each other back and forth, with the standings at the end of the stage determining promotion and relegation between leagues, as well as qualification for the Women’s Nations League Finals.

The four League A group winners will meet in the semi-finals, with the two finalists joining host France as Europe’s representatives at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The Nations League will also affect qualification for the 2025 European Nations Championship, which will be held in Switzerland.

England were previously the favorites to secure Olympic qualification on behalf of the Great Britain team, so they are expected to take responsibility once again – and Wegman is likely to oversee any British team.

What is the impact of the World Cup on the WSL?

After returning from international duty, a number of Lionesses will return to compete in the Women’s Super League, which kicks off again on October 1.

The impact of their success at UEFA Euro 2022 saw them post record viewing and attendance figures during the 2022-23 domestic season.

Having reached the final again in Australia, just months before the long-awaited takeover of the Women’s Football League, a new broadcasting deal is set to be negotiated that could bring more significant revenue to the women’s game.