The English Football Association has established a new board for the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship as it seeks to continue the growth of the women’s game.
The board will oversee the future strategy and policy of the women’s game in England and recommend the best way forward to the FA board.
The board will be chaired by Dawn Airey, former chief executive of Getty Images and Channel 5. It will also feature Liz Nicholl, former chief executive of UK Sport, and David Gregson, former chair of the Lawn Tennis Association, as independent non-executive directors.
Other members will include Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea; Svenja Geissmar, legal counsel at Arsenal; Omar Berrada, group chief operating officer at Manchester City; Rebecca Caplehorn, director of football operations at Tottenham Hotspur; Nicola Ibbetson, commercial director at Aston Villa; Lee Sanders, general manager at Durham Football Club; Mark Bullingham, chief commercial and football development officer at the FA; Baroness Sue Campbell, director of women’s football at the FA; and Sue Hough, chair of the FA Women’s Board.
The announcement comes amid ongoing debate over the future of women’s football and the WSL, and on the back of a successful Women’s World Cup in France that attracted record viewing figures for the BBC.
Last week, it was reported that the Premier League is considering taking over control of the WSL from the FA, with Premier League clubs said to have agreed to conduct a feasibility study into the matter following talks between the two parties. The FA launched the WSL in 2011.
On the formation of the new board, Airey said: “This is a perfect opportunity to build on the extraordinary momentum currently in women’s football.
“This summer the Lionesses captured our imagination with their skill, passion and excellence, and we’re hoping this momentum will carry on into the domestic game in the upcoming season. With this in mind, the new joint board will look to support the FA further as it continues to grow participation in the women’s game.”