The Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship clubs in England have unanimously agreed to proceed with the formation of a new organisation (NewCo) to lead the women’s professional game into a new era.

Each club who participates in the top two tiers of English women’s football will become a shareholder and will now begin proceedings to move into a new governance structure ahead of the 2024-25 season.

“The women’s professional game is in the strongest place that it has ever been thanks to the hard work of everybody involved in its development so far, but we firmly believe that the NewCo will take it to another level entirely,” said Baroness Sue Campbell, FA Director of Women’s Football.

“Each of our 24 clubs and the league itself wants the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship to be setting the standards for women’s football around the world, and this venture into a new governing body is the next step in us achieving that ambition.”

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of the women’s professional game, as we look to work together to build the most distinctive, competitive and entertaining women’s football club competition in the world,” added Vinai Venkatesham, CEO of Arsenal Football Club and Chair of the CEO Working Group which led on developing the proposal for NewCo.

“Setting up NewCo provides the opportunity to accelerate the sustainable growth of the women’s game and will not only support the development of the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship, but the entirety of the women’s football pyramid.”

“This is an incredibly exciting time for women’s football – and I’m delighted to be appointed as the new CEO of the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship,” said Nikki Doucet, former General Manager of Nike Women in the UK and Ireland who has been appointed the new CEO.

“Having already worked with the clubs and the FA for a number of months, I’ve been incredibly encouraged by the collective desire and shared ambition to make our leagues the most distinctive, competitive and entertaining women’s club competitions in the world.”

The model appears similar to that of the English premiership and Championship which are run separately as commercial entities to the governing body of the Football Association.

The move is relevant particularly in an Irish context this morning with one national newspaper revealing that an approach from US investors had been made to take over the running of the League of Ireland, albeit with only the Men’s League included from the start which runs counter to significant advances made in recent years.

Discussions are said to have taken place but without any substantive progress and with non-disclosure agreements preventing any public debate of what is or is not on the table.