The next billion-pound industry?
A long-awaited official review of women’s football in England sets out ten recommendations designed to transform and develop the sport at every level. The review, which was chaired by former international player Karen Carney, covers everything from playing standards to diversity goals and equal access to sports for girls.
As a whole, its aim is to create a better version of the sport that exists now, with more women and girls playing better football in a healthier environment, and more people watching and enjoying it.
These kind of changes will come at a price. But Carney predicts it will be a price worth paying, and could turn women’s football in England into a “billion pound industry”.
Those costs though are considerable (and something I looked at as an adviser to the review on finances). Even at the grassroots level of women’s football, building and maintaining good quality pitches and changing rooms is an expensive undertaking.
Then at the top level of English football, the report lists some of the costs that will be required in the Women’s Super League (WSL) (the equivalent to the men’s Premier League) and the Women’s Championship to raise standards and encourage more girls to get involved. These include a salary floor for players, mental and physical health provisions, and dedicated marketing resources.
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