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Friday, June 21, 2024

Premier League to loan £20m to professional women’s football in England

The Premier League will loan £20million ($25.2m) to women’s football’s ‘NewCo’ after Women’s Super League and Championship clubs approved a deal earlier this week.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told a government committee last month that his organisation’s clubs had agreed a loan to NewCo, which only needed to be ratified.

The Premier League’s loan to NewCo would likely be interest-free and only repayable when it reaches £100m in annual revenue.

NewCo is the independent company set up to run professional women’s football — the WSL and Championship — in England, which has been overseen by the FA since those leagues took their current format in 2010.

Nikki Doucet, who was appointed NewCo chief executive in November, declined to comment when asked last month about possible financial assistance from the Premier League but did say that her company will be a “stand-alone, revenue-generating for profit, independent entity with a 100 per cent dedicated professional management team that wakes up every single day thinking about this project, fanbase, clubs and how we are going to grow this”.

In January, Masters said that the Premier League had been in discussions with the FA “over the years…over whether the Premier League should become involved or whether it should be entirely separate”.

“Recently, our clubs agreed that they would make a financial loan to the NewCo that is being set up at the top of the women’s game in the Premier League and have a seat on the board and provide a whole bunch of services to the game such as advice on how to commercially develop the league,” Masters added.

“I hope that is the start of something. It still has to be approved by the WSL board, but I hope that is the start of a relationship and the men’s game can help the women’s game in a whole raft of different areas.”

NewCo will take over the running of the WSL and Championship for the start of next season. That was only agreed in November following a split between WSL and Championship sides on NewCo’s proposals, which was then resolved.

(Warren Little/Getty Images)

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