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Independent Review of Women's Football

Volume 742: debated on Monday 4 December 2023

I wish to inform the House that the Government have today published their response to the recommendations made by the independent review of women’s football.

Women’s football has developed rapidly in recent years and there is no doubt that we are at a defining moment. The Lionesses’ win at the UEFA Euro 2022 final and their journey to the final of the FIFA World cup earlier this year has continued to raise the profile of women’s football, both domestically and internationally. It is vital that we continue to build on these successes to ensure a long-lasting and sustainable future for women’s football in this country.

The review of women’s football examined the opportunities and challenges for the women’s and girls’ game. The review made 10 strategic recommendations which would lift minimum standards and deliver bold and sustainable growth at elite and grassroots levels. The Government support all 10 of the recommendations in the review, and believe that these must be acted on as a priority to ensure the women’s game propels itself to the next level. I want to take this opportunity to thank Karen Carney again for the enormous amount of hard work and commitment that went into producing such a prominent review. I am grateful for her continued support for the women’s game and I very much look forward to working with her going forward.

Responsibility for driving forward the recommendations sits across multiple stakeholders, including the Football Association; NewCo, the new independent entity that will be responsible for the management of the women’s professional game; clubs; the Premier League; the English Football League; broadcasters; the Football Foundation; the Sports Grounds Safety Authority; Sport England; and the Government. The Government will continue to drive forward the recommendations requiring Government action while working with other key organisations to ensure implementation across the board.

In order to hold all stakeholders accountable, the Government will be convening an implementation group, which will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of each recommendation.

The Government have announced a further £25 million for the Lionesses Futures Fund, in addition to £5 million from the FA. This £30 million fund will deliver up to 30 3G pitches in England, with gold-standard provision for women and girls. These state-of-the-art artificial grass pitches will be built around women’s and girls’ priority use, using reserved peak-time slots, women-and-girls-only evenings, and priority booking for women’s and girls’ teams to drive up participation and create pathways for growth. The funding will also provide safe and necessary grassroots facilities, such as women’s and girls’ changing rooms and showers, to welcome the next generation of players both on and off the pitch. All this builds on our investment of over £300 million in similar facilities across the UK, which also substantially benefits the women’s and girls’ game at a grassroots level.

The ambition has always been for the review’s recommendations to go beyond women’s football and apply to women’s sport more widely—sharing best practice and giving women and girls equal opportunities to play the sport they love. With this in mind, the Government will be convening a roundtable discussion with industry leaders across all women’s sports.

By collectively implementing the recommendations from the review, the women’s game in this country can become a world-leading sport that not only generates immense economic and social value, but sets the standards for women’s professional sport globally that allow others to follow.

The full text of the Government’s response to the review of women’s football can be found at