Real Madrid reportedly launching women’s team from start of next season

Spanish football giant Real Madrid is planning to launch a women’s team to play in LaLiga Femenina Iberdrola, the top flight of women’s football in the country, from the start of next season, according to reports.

Spanish daily El País claims that Real Madrid will take over the licence of existing side Club Deportivo Tacón, which was promoted to LaLiga Iberdrola this year, for a fee of around €400,000 ($455,000). The club will be fully absorbed by Real Madrid, training and playing home fixtures at the Ciudad Real Madrid facility in Valdebebas.

Madrid-based newspaper Sport reports that Tacón has long been mooted as a potential route into women’s football for Real Madrid due to the close ties between the clubs. Tacón is part-owned by René Ramos, the brother of Real Madrid captain Sergio.

The news could prove a landmark moment for women’s football, in Spain and beyond. Real Madrid, the world’s most valuable football team, has faced criticism for not having a women’s team, reportedly holding out over concerns about its brand being diluted by having a team playing in the lower tiers of Spanish football. Tacón’s entry into LaLiga Femenina Iberdrola has presented a backdoor opportunity for Real Madrid to enter a team directly into the top flight.

Its biggest rivals, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, have operated women’s teams for some time now. Earlier this year, the league clash between the two at Atlético’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium broke the record for the highest attendance ever at a women’s club football match, with 60,379 people watching Barcelona’s 2-0 victory.