EXCLUSIVE: FA turn down £150m offer for a rebranded form of the WSL
EXCLUSIVE: FA turn down £150m offer to form a rebranded Women’s Super League next season… with the governing body reluctant to give up control despite interest from Man City and Chelsea
- A private equity firm have had a £150million bid for the WSL rejected by the FA
- The bid proposed to rebrand the league’s format so that it would be run by clubs
- The FA’s rejection of the bid is believed to be in an attempt to retain control
The FA have rejected a £150million offer from a private equity company to form a rebranded Women’s Super League next season.
Sportsmail has learned that several top clubs, including champions Chelsea and Manchester City, were interested in the plan, which would have created a new WSL structure run by clubs, similar to the Premier League. But the FA did not want to give up control.
The £150m would have been shared among the 12 WSL clubs on the proviso that it was spent on three key areas — new management structures, facilities and player development.
WSL side Chelsea have dominated the competition winning five of the last six titles
The new money could have transformed the finances for the women’s game at a key period, with the FA hoping a successful England campaign at this summer’s home Euros will boost participation, attendances and commercial opportunities.
The private equity investment would have dwarfed any funding made available by the FA, or that generated by the clubs. By comparison the WSL TV deal is worth around £8m per season.
The investors believe the WSL has potential for commercial growth and would have provided funds to improve the quality and depth of the competition, which has been dominated lately by Chelsea, who have won five of the last six titles.
Manchester City and Chelsea were among those sides reported to be interested in the plan
While City, Manchester United and Arsenal have invested, other top-flight clubs have not and most lack dedicated management teams.
The FA entered into talks with an open mind, but concluded they would be better off with their approach of nurturing a slower pace of growth. The governing body have run the WSL since it was set up in 2011, but some clubs want the Premier League to take over.
‘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.’
The investment from sides like Chelsea has seen them enjoy unprecedented dominance
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