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BBC Radio London interviews Richard Davies on Karen Carney’s review into women’s football and investment in the sport

At a similar time to the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off, a major review has been published into the growth of women’s football, chaired by former Lionesses midfielder Karen Carney.

Richard Davies, Partner, speaks on BBC Radio London about the review and what is needed to support the sport’s growth, particularly in terms of funding and private equity investment.

Richard explains that for women’s football to grow, there is a “need for investment throughout the game – right from the grassroots to the professional tier” and that there is a “huge amount of room for growth and investment in the game”. He also emphasises that “the key question is where does that money come from?”, with ‘external investment’ and ‘self-generated income’ (e.g., from sponsors and media rights) likely being the “key to growing the game in the long term”.

Richard then discusses the choices that would have to be made by both sporting bodies when deciding what to do with any private equity money it receives.

“The women’s game in the UK is a particularly attractive space for investors”, he continued, referencing the likelihood of international investment of the kind we have seen in men’s football.

Asked about whether private equity investment is always a good thing, Richard suggests that there are pros and cons. Some investments can go well, and others can go badly.

“It is an injection of cash. That can be hugely helpful. We saw this with some of the financial holes left by Covid, that some bodies took on investment as plugging a financial gap […] it could be put into grassroots facilities and for creating pathways to the professional game. It could also fund some of the wages increases and making sure that the game is fully professional”.

“Private equity investors often don’t just bring money”, he continues. “They can also bring commercial expertise to the bodies.”

Listen to Richard’s interview on BBC Radio London’s Sports Show here (listen in between 49.00 – 59.20).

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