This week media covers the impact of ‘NewCo’, surf therapy, and playing football in Robben Island prison.
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English women’s football is set to enter a lucrative new era from next season as the top two tiers break from the Football Association (FA) and a new company, NewCo, takes over the running of the women’s professional game.
Kelly Simmons, former FA director of the women’s game, says the FA wasn’t the right long-term fit to develop the women’s game, which is soaring in popularity – especially after a highly successful World Cup.
“We were concerned that if the women’s leagues just rolled into the men’s Premier League, it would not have sort of the laser focus or an independent voice and might not be the highest priority,” Simmons told media.
“So we [at the FA] all agreed unanimously that the best model would be to set up a new company that has a laser focus, a board and an executive that is solely focused on making the best decisions for the women’s professional game.”
Alex Culvin, a former professional player now heading women’s football strategy and research at FIFPRO players union, says the leagues’ decision to function independently has come at the right time.
“I think, in England, having the independence and the ability to strategically prioritise the growth of the women’s league is something that hasn’t been done before. It’s important, and I’m incredibly excited,” Culvin told media.
The Women’s Super League (WSL) now believes it can become the first billion-pound ($1.24bn) women’s football league in the world within a decade.