Maheta Morango, CEO of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), said in a statement that the report was “a bold, ambitious and detailed plan for the future of women’s football”. .
An FA spokeswoman said they would work together to “address the challenges and opportunities in the report” to “bring about the necessary change”.
“This is an exciting time for the development of women’s football and we share Karen’s vision of creating world-leading standards for players, fans and everyone involved in women’s football.”
‘Curtain trash bags’ – part-time players and low wages
While the WSL is fully professional with her 12 clubs, this falls short of her two tiers of English women’s football. WSL turnover could be as high as around £7m due to significant reductions in transfer fees and Central FA funds, but at least £150,000 for the Women’s Championship, where players earn less than £5,000 a year. may remain.
Reading were recently relegated from the WSL but have returned to part-time football due to financial concerns.
When Mr Carney was advised that more than £10m would be needed to offset some of that balance, he vehemently defended the need to bring additional revenue to the game.
“Will the players have to go to the NHS (to treat their injuries)? No. Do you want the players to use the garbage bags as curtains?” No,’ she said.
“We don’t want to be in this situation again. We reviewed our existing marketing strategy and there was a lot of evidence that it wasn’t contributing to revenue growth.”
“This is what we need. Investing in women’s sports is not a negative, we need to change the way we think.” I understand there is a reality to it.”
On proposals to provide one source of funding from levelling FA Cup prize money across the men’s and women’s game, she added:
“I’d hope there would not be a backlash.
“There are so many issues and women’s sport has struggled for so long I’d hope there’d be an understanding but with anything there’ll always be someone who will challenge it.
“I could have said equalise prize money right now but that would have taken down the pyramid of men’s football. We should absolutely be going for equal prize money [in the future] from the FA Cup and the FA should be putting a timescale on that.”
‘Five weeks out can turn into five months’ – injury improvements
A long-standing issue that Carney is keen to see addressed urgently is the relative lack of medical support offered to female players in comparison to their male counterparts.
A Fifa report in 2021 showed that a quarter of top-division women’s clubs around the world do not employ a physio or team doctor and while there have been improvements Carney says there are still issues around the quality and continuity of care provided. “We had a player out for five months who should have been out for five weeks,” Carney said.
“I have often seen athletes say they had to retire early because of medical conditions. We need to improve.”
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