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UEFA see Manchester move as a big boost for women's game

Manchester United's decision to establish their first professional women's team will boost the female game across Europe, UEFA's head of marketing activities and sponsorship said on Wednesday.

The highest revenue-generating soccer club in the world, according to financial services firm Deloitte, United last week announced that they had applied to enter the second tier of the Women's Super League.

The former European champions have until now stood out from Premier League rivals Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool as the only top tier club not to have their own women's side.

UEFA's Peter Willems said it was important for the development of women's soccer and the European body's international competitions to have the biggest clubs fully engaged.

Willems was speaking before a UEFA women's Champions League quarter-final second leg between Chelsea and French side Montpellier, with the Londoners 2-0 up after the away game.

Manchester City were also on course to reach the semi-finals.

The crowds for women's Champions League games are still a fraction of those in the men's game, with Chelsea playing their game at AFC Wimbledon's 2,250 capacity stadium in south-west London.

While England captain Steph Houghton, who plays for Manchester City, has built up a Twitter following of nearly 100,000 over years, Manchester United player Paul Pogba has close to five million.

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