Michele Kang expands her women's soccer empire with most recent purchase
The GIST: Businesswoman Michele Kang is expanding her women’s soccer empire with her recent purchase of the second-tier English club London City Lionesses (LCL). LCL is the only independent women’s football club in NewCo, which will eventually oversee England’s first-tier WSL and second-tier Women’s Championship. Very on brand.
The background: No details have been released, but this deal rounds out a banner year for Kang — she already owns the NWSL’s Washington Spirit and France’s OL Feminin and she created the first woman-owned, multi-club football entity in May. In buying LCL, Kang continues her mission to make the pitch a level playing field, while also expanding her soccer ownership into a third country.
- And it’s a good time for Kang to get into the English game: its rising popularity was kickstarted by England’s women’s national team’s 2022 Euros win and propelled in 2023 by the FIFA Women’s World Cup and WSL growth. Plus, the WSL plans to become the first billion-dollar women’s league. Money, money, money.
The UK model: Kang took inspiration from the aforementioned NewCo, stating that uniting women’s soccer franchises moves the game forward since owners can focus exclusively on growing the women’s game. It’s a welcome development in a landscape where most WSL clubs are affiliated with Premier League (EPL) teams, which can be a blessing and a curse.
- For example, Arsenal women’s historic attendance benefits from its storied brand, but many other EPL clubs overlook their women’s sides. An own goal.
Zooming out: Kang approaches the pitch with the mindset of discovering the next big industry and applying the most logical, growth-focused business model. Women-first soccer clubs could be the future, and if that’s the direction Kang is going, the rest of women’s soccer should follow.