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NWSL faces delay to become independent after US Soccer ‘denies $47m funding request’

NWSL president Amanda Duffy (Credit: NWSL)

The National Women’s Soccer League’s plans to operate independently of the United States Soccer Federation in 2020 is in the balance after the national governing body, which currently manages the NWSL, reportedly refused a $47m funding proposal by team owners.

According to Yahoo Sports, NWSL owners had asked for US Soccer to fund league operations through 2028, allocating $7m in 2020 and $5m every year after that. This compared to $20m in total for the NWSL’s first seven seasons.

In large part because US Soccer has had to readjust its expenditure planning due to the need to find a new headquarters and fund several lawsuits, the offer was rejected. Another issue is NWSL currently does not have a full time commissioner, with Amanda Duffy running the league as president.

Instead, US Soccer has offered to manage the NWSL for another season while negotiations continue. The current management agreement is set to expire on December 31, leaving little time for further talks.

In preparation of a move to become an independent league, the NWSL appointed Octagon as a consultant to advise the league on its media- and marketing-rights strategy globally for the next three seasons. The NWSL and Octagon will be seeking a minimum three-year commitment from English- and Spanish-language broadcast partners in the United States to ensure the league’s long-term growth.

The NWSL has also been expected to announce Sacramento as an expansion team in 2020 for several weeks. It is unclear what the hold-up is.

Read this: NWSL looking to translate Women’s World Cup aura into long-term gains