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PFA Praise ‘Brave, Ambitious and Bold’ Review into Women’s Game

Manchester City's Bunny Shaw and Chloe Kelly

PFA CEO Maheta Molango has praised ‘Raising the Bar’, the report from the Government review into women’s football led by Karen Carney MBE, as “a brave, ambitious and detailed plan for the future of the women’s game.”

The Review has made a series of recommendations on the future of the women’s game which, Molango said, “has players at its heart.”

He continued: “Karen and her team haven’t backed away from difficult questions. Throughout this process they have made sure that they heard directly from players and former players. Their insights are critical to understanding the realities of a career in the women’s game.

The review calls for the FA to fund “comprehensive and formalised union representation for both Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship players", adding that “full union representation (for) both Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship players is fundamental to creating a fully professionalised environment for both tiers."

Molango said: “We are proud that WSL players are members of the PFA and have access to the services and independent support we provide. 

“Karen’s report recommends that union representation for players in the WSL and the Women’s Championship should now be fully and comprehensively funded by the Football Association, as it would be in other countries where proper Collective Bargaining Agreements are in place between players and governing bodies. 

“That’s a significant step forward which, alongside the recommendation that the Women’s Championship should become fully professional, will allow us to enhance and expand the services we provide to players.

“We’ve always said that professional needs to mean more than just a word on a contract. It needs to be reflected in the way players are treated and supported by their clubs and leagues. There are a range of recommendations on issues such as the club’s duty of care, the physical and mental health care, and the standard of training facilities that will be excellent news for players.

The review also calls on the FA to urgently address the lack of diversity across the women’s game.

PFA’s Fern Whelan, who has led the union’s ‘See It. Achieve It’ campaign as a former professional and England international, said: “We can all see that there is a lack of representation across the women’s game. That isn’t by design, or something the game needs to be defensive about. It’s something where we've acknowledged there is an issue and begun to take action, but we all need to keep pushing.

“Are we doing enough to encourage girls and young women from diverse backgrounds into the game? Are we making the professional pathway accessible enough? It’s often about practicalities as well as culture. 

“We have to make as many girls and young women as possible feel that women’s football is for them.”

Molango said that the PFA was “looking forward to working with the FA, stakeholders and, most importantly, the players, on the introduction of these recommendations.

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