English Premier League teams are proposing a private equity deal to invest in WSL’s commercial operations
The GIST: The English Premier League (EPL) made abundantly clear it’s not interested in footing the bill for NewCo, the entity that will oversee the Women’s Super League (WSL) and Women’s Championship (WC). Instead, some EPL teams proposed a private equity deal invested into the WSL’s commercial operations. Taking the Lionesses’ share.
The backstory: This September, England’s Football Association (FA) tapped the EPL to fund the $31M creation of NewCo, but the motion never reached agreement. The EPL was asked to assist again with a $25.2M interest-free loan in a separate vote last week, but the vote reportedly never took place. Nevertheless, NewCo is supposed to move forward as planned after a $18.8M FA loan and recent approval from WC clubs.
- Per Bloomberg, smaller EPL clubs are hesitant to approve WSL funding as they view it as further enriching top-tier clubs that own men’s and women’s teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City. Absolute bollocks.
The pitch: By instead investing in the WSL’s commercial operations, the EPL could use its existing partnerships to help the women’s league land big-name sponsors, major network deals, and more. If the WSL thrives commercially, the EPL would get lucrative ROI without being on the hook financially. No pain, all gains.
Looking ahead: Despite record viewership, attendance, and revenue, English women’s soccer is still in the red. Invest now, revenue later: the EPL gets that message, but in this chicken or egg dilemma, it’s the latest frustrating example of NewCo’s struggle to land on its feet due to a lack of EPL support.