Dawn Airey to chair 12-person board overseeing growth of domestic women's game

Dawn Airey
Dawn Airey was previously chief executive of Getty Images and Channel 5

A new 12-person board will "oversee the future strategy and policy" of women's club football in England, the Football Association has confirmed.

The group will make recommendations to the FA board about the growth of the Women's Super League and Championship.

Dawn Airey, who was previously chief executive of Getty Images and Channel 5, has been named as chair.

"This is a perfect opportunity to build on the extraordinary momentum currently in women's football," she said.

Interest in the women's game is high following this summer's World Cup, with record television audiences on the BBC watching England's progress to the semi-finals and the USA retaining the trophy.

In a bid to capitalise on the added interest, Manchester City and Chelsea will play their opening WSL 2019-20 fixtures at Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge respectively.

Airey continued: "This summer the Lionesses captured our imagination with their skill, passion and excellence, and we're hoping this momentum will carry on into the domestic game in the upcoming season.

"With this in mind, the new joint board will look to support the FA further as it continues to grow participation in the women's game."

Also named as one of three independent members on the panel is Liz Nicholl, formerly the chief executive of UK Sport, as well as four representatives from WSL clubs; Chelsea FC chairman Bruce Buck, Tottenham's head of football operations Rebecca Caplehorn, Arsenal legal director Svenja Geissmar and Manchester City chief operating officer Omar Berrada.

Earlier this month, BBC Sport reported that the Premier League had moved a step closer to taking over the WSL from the FA.

Clubs unanimously agreed to conduct a feasibility study into the idea at a shareholders' meeting in June.

The move followed talks between the Premier League and FA over the previous six months, although any takeover could still be several seasons away.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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