The UK Government is to establish a Board of Women’s Sports next year to help accelerate growth of the sector beyond football.
The move comes as the Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer today accepted all of the recommendations put forward in former England international Karen Carney’s review into women’s football following the success of the Lionesses at Euro 2022.
The recommendations also included calls for a fully professional Women’s Super League and Championship in the wake of NewCo, a new body to manage the top two tiers of women’s football, being voted into the sport.
Furthermore there is government support for the women’s game to carve out a dedicated broadcast slot, which some say should be in the men’s 3pm blackout spot, as well as raising minimum standards and a new collaborative approach.
The Board of Women’s Sport will bring leaders together from across sports to share best practice while the government last week announced a further £30m cash injection into grassroots facilities, taking commitments to around £400m.
“Karen Carney’s Review into women’s football sets out a bold vision for the women’s game,” Frazer said. “It has raised the bar and been instrumental in setting out a clear-eyed plan to lift minimum standards and deliver bold, sustainable growth at the grassroots and elite levels.
“Rightly, the ambition has been for the review’s recommendations to go beyond women’s football and apply across women’s sport – sharing best practice and giving women and girls equal opportunities to play the sport they love.”
Real work begins now
Chair of the review Carney said: “I’m encouraged that the government is providing their full backing to my review and renewing their commitment to develop women’s football in the UK and fulfil its potential to be a world-beating sport.
“The real work begins now. I hope the additional investment and support from the government is the boost for The FA, the incoming NewCo, and other stakeholders of the game to rally around this once in a lifetime opportunity to transform domestic women’s football for generations to come.”
The review was the first action taken by the government following a fan led review into football governance by Tracey Crouch MP, which has also seen discussion of a football regulator in this year’s King’s Speech.