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Government backs Carney Review into women’s football

The Government has today (Monday 4th December 2023) backed Karen Carney’s blueprint which aims to “raise standards in domestic women’s football” – including supporting the FA and NewCo in the full professionalisation of women’s football and equal access to sport in schools for girls.

The report was commissioned in 2022 with former England international Karen Carney MBE publishing her findings in July 2023. The FSA was part of the evidence gathering process as Carney met with supporter groups across the game representing the FSA’s Women’s Game Network.

The review made ten key recommendations relating to the funding of women’s football, broadcast issues, diversity, the talent pathway, access to facilities, grassroots funding, and more.

Culture secretary Lucy Frazer said: “I’d like to thank Karen for her detailed review which has delivered a clear blueprint for the future of women’s football from the grassroots up to the elite level.

“We must collectively seize the moment and deliver sustained commercial success for the women’s game, and fully support the FA and NewCo to drive forward the full professionalisation of the game.”

Carney said she was “encouraged” her review had received “full backing” and encouraged “stakeholders of the game to rally around this once in a lifetime opportunity to transform domestic women’s football for generations to come.”

Recommendations:

  • Implement world-leading standards for players, fans, staff, and everybody involved in the women’s game
  • Improve the talent pathway to ensure generations of world-beating Lionesses
  • Address the lack of diversity in the game on and off the pitch
  • Alongside Premier League, EFL and broadcasters, carve out a dedicated slot for women’s football
  • Raise club standards for fan engagement
  • Alongside the Premier League and Football Foundation improve funding flows across the pyramid to enhance facilities
  • Utilise the change in administration to further develop the National League and grassroots game

Read the Government’s full response here…

What does the FSA think?

Deborah Dilworth, head of women’s football at the FSA, said: “We’d like to thank Karen for engaging with supporters during her review into the women’s game.

“We’re pleased to see that an implementation group, composed of stakeholders from across the game, will meet in 2024. This was a key part of the FSA’s submission and stakeholders from across women’s football have a crucial role to play in driving it forward.”

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball