CITY MP Zarah Sultana is calling on the Government to act to support women’s football after Coventry United Ladies FC needed an 11th hour rescue last week to save it from liquidation.
The member for Coventry South has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorris MP, urging her to launch an independent fan-led review ‘to put the women’s game on sustainable footing’ and to ‘avoid the recurrence of issues like that faced by Coventry United LFC’.
Ms Sultana said the Coventry United Ladies episode highlighted the systemic challenges facing female football – one of the top participation sports for women and girls in England and one with a rapidly growing fan-base.
She said in her letter the women’s game faced significant obstacles with short-term and pay-to-play contracts being prevalent and pointed out that last season the women’s FA Cup prize money was less than two per cent of the men’s.
She called for parity between the men’s and women’s games – something recommended in the 2021 independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance.
The report also questioned sustainability of the women’s game, suggested investing Premier League revenue into it and added women’s football should get its own dedicated review.
Ms Sultana said: “It took the disastrous men’s European Super League proposal to trigger the long-demanded review into football governance.
“I hope it will not take a similar event to spur the government into action to safeguard and advance women’s football.”
Ms Sultana donated £100 to the crowdfunding campaign for the staff and players at CULFC when news emerged of the pending liquidation.
Lewis Taylor from Midlands company Energy Angels confirmed to the Observer the club was ‘saved for sure’ after his late takeover bid was accepted by shareholders.