Women's football: Which top European clubs still don't have a team?

CD Tacon
Real Madrid are competing as CD Tacon this season in La Liga after missing the deadline to change their name

The Women's Super League this season is set to be one of the most competitive so far, and with record crowds.

After Manchester United launched a women's side in 2018-19, every major English club has one and teams in Europe are following suit.

Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt have announced intentions to take over local women's teams CD Tacon and FFC Frankfurt respectively - but who is yet to catch up?

Scotland

Livingston are the only Scottish Premiership side to not have a women's team, though there are no professional sides established yet.

Celtic had planned to form a professional women's team by the end of 2019 and the Hoops also submitted plans for a women's training centre.

In June, Scotland FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: "A number of clubs are looking at pretty much full-time women's teams. The more opportunities there will be for girls, the more clubs will follow suit."

Germany

Borussia Dortmund are arguably the biggest side in Europe without a women's team.

When approached by BBC Sport, the club replied: "Borussia Dortmund focus on the women's handball team, which has a long and successful history."

From 2009, Hertha BSC had a cooperation with FC Lubars, but because of financial issues they lost their licences for the second tier of the women's Bundesliga and were relegated in 2015.

They had been set to play in the BerlinLiga but had to pull out, and no move has been made create a new team to represent Hertha.

During the 1970s, Schalke 04 had a women's team but they were dissolved in the mid-eighties.

Since then they have cooperated with FFC Recklinghausen, who are the reigning champions of the Westfalenliga (fourth division).

SC Paderborn 07 were promoted to the men's Bundesliga for the 2019-20 season. They are the only one of the promoted clubs not to have a women's side.

France

Rennes are one of a number of Ligue 1 sides not to have an affiliated women's team.

Their stadium, Roazhon Park, was one of the venues for the Women's World Cup and hosted the quarter-final in which Sweden beat Germany 2-1.

Amiens, Nantes and Nimes are also without a women's team.

Spain

With Real Madrid now getting a women's team, Celta Vigo are one of the only clubs in La Liga still without one.

President Carlos Mourino said to Spanish newspaper Marca: "We can't do it as long as we don't have any other pitches.

"It's absurd, it's impossible. An agreement would be feasible, but the team wouldn't take Celta's name."

Real Valladolid had a women's team between 2009 and 2011 but they disbanded because of changes in Spanish FA rules and the high financial cost.

In January 2019, club president Ronaldo revealed he wants to reassemble the women's football team in the "imminent future".

However, there have been no updates since, and they are yet to respond to BBC Sport's request for a comment.

Italy

Fiorentina were the first established Italian side to take on a professionally affiliated team in 2015 - and others, such as Juventus, have now followed suit.

Juventus and Fiorentina Women played each other in front of 39,000 people last season at the Allianz Stadium - a first in Italy.

Despite this growth of the game in Italy, Torino, Sampdoria, Parma and Cagliari have no women's team associated with them.

Elsewhere in Europe

Porto (Portugal), Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) and Zenit St Petersburg (Russia) all have high profiles in the men's European game, but no women's team.

What about clubs without a men's side?

Lucy Fitzgerald
London City Lionesses have won three of their opening four games this season in the Championship

In the United States, most teams establish their own club and are not associated with a men's side and now some UK teams are following suit.

At the end of last season, Millwall Lionesses announced they would be breaking away from the men's Championship club to form the London City Lionesses.

Many players and the manager Chris Phillips moved with the club, who remain in the Women's Championship.

"We want to prove that a women's team can now be run as an independent club and not rely on handouts from an older brother," London City Lionesses manager Chris Phillips told the BBC.

"It is right for a women's team to be commercially free, to be able to go and do deals with partners and sponsors. Being able to do our own deals, we can sustain this model and become profitable.

"Commercially, London has a big pool. We're in the right place at the right time with the right product. Maybe a few will follow suit."

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