FA reject £150m offer to form rebranded Women's Super League
Chelsea and Manchester City were interested in the rebrand
The Football Association (FA) have reportedly rejected a £150million offer from a private equity company to form a rebranded Women’s Super League next campaign.
As reported by the Daily Mail, a number of top sides - including champions Chelsea and Manchester City - were interested in the rebrand, which would have created a structure similar to the Premier League. However, the FA did not want to give up control of the league.
The £150m would have been shared between the 12 WSL clubs, on the condition that it was spent on three key areas — new management structures, facilities and player development.
The funding made available by the FA, or that generated by the clubs in the division, is significantly less than what the private equity investment were offering. For example, and context, the WSL TV deal is worth around £8m per season.
In advance of the Women’s Euro 2022, I thought it might be interesting to review the finances of the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) for the 2020/21 season, albeit severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with almost all games played behind closed doors.
— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) July 4, 2022
Should the offer have been accepted, the funding could've helped to completely transform the finances in the women's game, at a period when interest is arguably at its highest.
Investors also think the WSL has potential for commercial growth, and would have provided the money required to improve the quality of the competition.
While some clubs - City, Manchester United and Arsenal - have invested in the division, other WSL sides have not.
FA opt to stick with their approach to growth
Although the FA, who have run the WSL since it started in 2011, are said to have entered into talks with an open mind, they decided that, ultimately, the league would be better off with their approach to growing the women's game.
"Our long-term strategy is for the leagues to be under new ownership," an FA spokesperson said. "We’ve been approached numerous times. But we are exploring the optimal ownership structure and investment plan."
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