Separating WSL from FA won't be rushed - director of women's football

Hayes names her team of the tournament for Euro 2022 (0:49)

Emma Hayes breaks down the standout players from Euro 2022 after England won their first ever major trophy in women's football. (0:49)

The FA's director of women's football Sue Campbell has said the governing body will not rush moving the organisation of the Women's Super League to a separate company following the Lionesses' European Championship success.

The FA has rejected offers from private equity firms in the past for the WSL but is keen to eventually move the women's league away from sole FA control.

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Campbell said earlier in the year the FA is looking to establish a "subsidiary" company to run the WSL and the Women's Championship from January 2023. This would be for a period of three years, accounting for the latest broadcast deal which runs through to 2026.

But Campbell says the FA will not fast-track any decisions over the future of the WSL to capitalise on the Lionesses' historic win on Sunday in the European Championship.

"I think the balance for us though, is...we absolutely want the league to be run independently of us," Campbell said. "We don't want the head to leave the body. We don't want the two professional leagues to disappear down the road and leave the rest behind.

"So I think we need a period of transition where we're moving in that direction, but we don't just tip it out the door and it's not what we want to do because the women's game is different. The mountain is whole, we don't just want the peak whipped away."

FA CEO Mark Bullingham said the Lionesses' win would allow the organisation to "turbocharge" the plan it has put in place to grow women's football. While much of this is focused on grassroots football, the organisation also wants to increase attendances in the WSL with the intention for some of the Premier League's bigger stadiums to host more matches heading forward.

"That's been one of our key strategies for WSL in order to grow is having these big tentpole moments and then adding more and more of those to it," Bullingham said. "Playing in a big stadium is absolutely critical. I'm sure we'll have more and more games at Wembley as well -- we really want to get the Lionesses there and have those good moments like last night.

"I think that's how you reach new families, and you give them a great experience, and then they want to come back and I think we've got about 575,000 people who've come to this tournament and that has blown all records out of the water, but we now need to transfer those into the WSL, now that's the challenge and we think they've had such a good time they will.

"That's been our strategy for a little while and the clubs have been really supportive. It's an economic challenge for them for sure but in the long-term, it's going to be an economic benefit and I think they all know that. They're getting behind it and the clubs I think are investing more and more coming on the journey."

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said on Tuesday in her column for the Telegraph that she would like to see the WSL move under new ownership to help grow the sport and hopes the Premier League will have some involvement.

When talking about what the legacy of the Lionesses' win should look like, Hayes wrote: "It should start with the handover of the Women's Super League, which should be taken out of the hands of the FA and handed over to a commercial operation with experience of growing the sport in both broadcasting terms and the product around it. This has to be an absolute priority.

"You have to thank the FA, the league and the clubs, who all deserve huge credit for contributing hugely towards what happened on Sunday. So many people have played a significant part in producing England teams and the league the FA set up has, no question, been a gamechanger.

"But the future of the WSL should be one where it's not run by the FA. I know that they're looking at independent bodies but I do really hope that the Premier League is still part of that conversation, because the experience and nous of the Premier League, or a body like it, could be the difference-maker in the direction of the women's game. We have to get that right."