Airey to chair new WSL and Championship board

10 Jul 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The Football Association has confirmed the establishment of a new joint Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship Board as part of its commitment to growing the women’s game.

The Board will oversee the future strategy and policy of the professional game and will recommend the best way forward on a number of issues to the FA Board as it determines what is in the best interests of the leagues.

The Board will be chaired by Dawn Airey, former CEO of Getty Images and Channel 5. Airey will be assisted by Independent Non-Executive Directors Liz Nicholl, former CEO of UK Sport; and David Gregson, former Chair of the Lawn Tennis Association.

Also serving on the Board will be: Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea; Svenja Geissmar, Legal Counsel for Arsenal; Omar Berrada, Group Chief Operating Officer at Manchester City; Rebecca Caplehorn, Director of Football Operations for Tottenham Hotspur; Nicola Ibbetson, Commercial Director of Aston Villa; Lee Sanders, General Manager of Durham Football Club; Mark Bullingham, Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer at the FA; Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football for the FA; and Sue Hough, Chair of the FA Women’s Board.

Airey said: “This is a perfect opportunity to build on the extraordinary momentum currently in women’s football.

“This summer the Lionesses captured our imagination with their skill, passion and excellence, and we’re hoping this momentum will carry on into the domestic game in the upcoming season. With this in mind, the new joint Board will look to support the FA further as it continues to grow participation in the women’s game.”

Kelly Simmons, the FA’s Director of Women’s Professional Game, added: “The new Board is a major step forward in the development of the women’s professional game. It has tremendous commercial and football expertise which will help transform the women’s game in England, growing audiences and revenue, and enabling it to become sustainable in the long term.”

The news comes amid a number of significant developments for women’s football in England in the wake of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which concluded at the weekend. The FA last week confirmed that it is “supporting” the Premier League as the latter weighs up whether to assume control of the WSL.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the WSL is set to stage double-header matches with the Premier League, and Manchester City and Chelsea have announced that their women’s teams will play their season-openers at Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge, respectively.