News article

Prominent football figures added to women’s football review panel

February 16 2023

Former Lioness Karen Carney has appointed football pundit and former professional footballer Ian Wright, as well as former England head coach Hope Powell, to advise a review looking into ways to boost participation and the commercial standing of women’s football in the UK.

Prominent football figures added to women’s football review panel

Carney is a former England and Great Britain footballer and now works as a sports journalist and broadcaster. Carney was commissioned by the UK Government to assess the state of the women’s professional game, from grassroots to elite level, and is the chair of the review. The review is expected to be published in the summer. 

Over the last few years, women’s football has taken major steps forward, most recently with the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, which was held in England. The tournament was watched by a global audience of more than 365 million people, with just under 575,000 tickets sold and nearly half of ticket-holders being female and 100,000 being children. 

Eventual winners England were supported by sell-out crowds at every stage and the final broke the all-time record attendance for a Euro final, in either the men’s or women’s game. 

Further appointees include chair of the Professional Game Academy Audit Company and director of Women in Football, Jane Purdon; head of Europe and UK for the NFL and former chief executive of World Rugby, Brett Gosper; Dan Jones, a former global lead partner for sports business at Deloitte and Lisa O’Keefe, who is the secretary general of the International Working Group on Women and Sport. 

"This panel will bring valuable knowledge to help boost the commercial side of the sport while improving participation." UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer

Chair of the review of domestic women’s football, Carney, said: “For this review, it was important to me to get the advice and support of experts across various fields, from sport to business. So I’m really pleased that Hope, Ian, Jane, Brett, Dan and Lisa have come on board.

“Their experience, expertise and understanding of the world of sport will be incredibly valuable as we set out our recommendations for the growth of the game. Best of all, I know they share my ambition to make the UK one of the best places in the world to play, watch and invest in women’s football.”

UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer added: “There has been a huge surge in interest in women’s football over the past year and now is the time to supercharge the game’s growth. Karen has chosen a range of experts from different fields to help make sure her review can really revolutionise the game, from the grassroots to the elite level, and do so in a positive and sustainable way.

“This panel will bring valuable knowledge to help boost the commercial side of the sport while improving participation.”

The review was launched in September last year and will focus on assessing the potential audience reach and growth; the financial health of the game and financial sustainability in the long run and the structures within women’s football.

Image: Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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