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Chelsea v Liverpool - Lauren James celebrates ©Alamy

FA reforms WSL and Women’s Championship – and appoints new CEO

Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship Clubs have unanimously agreed to proceed with the formation of a new independent body – called NewCo – to run the women’s professional game in England.

Each club who participates in the top two tiers of women’s football acts as a shareholder in the body which will be led by newly-appointed CEO Nikki Doucet who the FA described as “the outstanding candidate from a global list of applicants”.

Doucet’s previous roles include general manager of Nike Women UK & Ireland and the FA said she will oversee the transition of the WSL and Championship to NewCo before the start of the 2024/25 season.

Nikki Doucet said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for women’s football – and I’m delighted to be appointed as the new CEO of the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship.

“Having already worked with the clubs and the FA for a number of months, I’ve been incredibly encouraged by the collective desire and shared ambition to make our leagues the most distinctive, competitive and entertaining women’s club competitions in the world.

CEO Nikki Doucet

Nikki Doucet ©FA

“It’s a great privilege to help lead the next phase of this inspirational journey, which has been started by the FA through passion, investment and a steadfast commitment to the evolution of women’s football.”

“Together, we now have an opportunity to see further transformational growth across our leagues by maximising the unique qualities, values and principles that we see in the women’s game, and keeping the players and the fans at the heart of everything we do,” said Doucet.

Deborah Dilworth, head of women’s football at the FSA, said: “In recent times we’ve really developed our relationship with the FA thanks to a series of supporter engagement meetings that have given matchgoing fans the opportunity to discuss a range of important issues – with positive actions linked to away ticket policy and supporter engagement.

“We look forward to building on that process with Nikki and NewCo to ensure that supporters have a voice and influence within the women’s game.”

Baroness Sue Campbell, director of women’s football for the FA, said the women’s game was in the strongest position it had ever been and believes NewCo “will take it to another level entirely”.

“This is a historical moment for the women’s professional game in this country, and it is a move that will see our clubs and players make even bigger strides both on and off the pitch,” said Campbell.

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