UK government to back recommendations of Karen Carney-led women’s football review

Carney on the need to invest more in women’s football

The UK government says it will back all recommendations in the women’s football review that was led by former England midfielder Karen Carney.

The report, published in July, called for the top two women’s tiers in England to become fully professional.

It also wanted a new regular broadcast slot to be made available.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has urged the Football Association and stakeholders to “set a new standard for women’s sport”.

She says this is a “defining moment” for women’s football.

“I am confident this continued work and determination can propel the women’s game even further, setting the standard for women’s sport as a whole,” she said.

The government response added that the recommendations “are the right blueprint for the future of women’s football”.

It stated: “Our attention will be on making them a reality, and holding the football industry to account for their success.”

The report’s recommendations called for:

world-leading standards for players, fans, staff, and everyone in the women’s gamerestoration of the talent pathway needed to create future generations of Lionessesprofessionalisation across the top two tiers to attract and develop the best players in the worldthe lack of diversity to be addressed across the women’s game, in on-pitch and off-pitch rolesthe game’s governing bodies to work with broadcasters to create a new dedicated time slotadopting more measures to support fansprovision of equal access to school sports for girlsmore investment in grassroots facilities and better access for females

When the review was published, Carney said domestic women’s football could become a “billion-pound industry” in 10 years’ time.

The government response comes days after Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship clubs agreed to form a club-owned organisation to run women’s professional league football in England from the 2024-25 season, taking over from the Football Association.

The UK government will launch an implementation group of key stakeholders to deliver the Carney review plans and will also establish a separate board of women’s sports to highlight themes and challenges faced by different sports, share best practices and research and accelerate growth.

Carney, 36, won 144 caps for England, retiring from playing after the 2019 World Cup.

She 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.”


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