NewCo lands $25.2M loan from the English Premier League
The GIST: England’s newly-formed NewCo, which consists of the top two flights of English women’s football — the Women’s Super League (WSL) and Women’s Championship (WC) — just landed a $25.2M interest-free loan from the English Premier League (EPL) several months after the WSL requested money to revamp UK women’s soccer. Worth the wait.
The details: NewCo approved the loan last Wednesday after discussions with the Football Association (FA), English soccer’s governing body. The money will be used for various purposes as NewCo becomes operational for the 2024-25 season, and the loan will be repaid once NewCo reaches $126M in annual revenue.
- Additionally, EPL clubs will have a seat on NewCo’s board and offer their wealth of services to the women’s side, including resources and commercial development strategy. Teamwork makes the dream work.
The context: The FA was pushing the EPL to offer a $31M loan in September, but talks went quiet after a report indicated only a minority of clubs were in favor. Then in November, the EPL was scheduled to vote on approving the recently confirmed $25.2M loan, but instead proposed a private equity (PE) deal that would include investment in the WSL’s commercial operations.
- The Athletic reported that the EPL’s successful vote on the newly-approved loan likely occurred during a December 12th meeting, but wasn’t publicized. After the WC officially joined NewCo in late November, the EPL seemingly backed away from its PE approach and approved the loan a few weeks later. It’s about damn time.
Zooming out: The EPL’s main concern seemed to be how funding NewCo would financially benefit the men’s league, but this move signifies its belief in the company’s ROI. After NewCo hired CEO Nikki Doucet, both the WC and EPL have come back to the negotiating table, a smart call given that UK women’s soccer is expected to become a billion-dollar operation within 10 years. A billi.