Farrer & Co Women in Sport - Report - Page 19
with no women on
Premier League Clubs
Championship League Clubs
Why not something similar for the
number of women on club boards?
In recent times, we have seen the
demise of Bury Football Club, at the
heart of which lies questions about
governance, and the need for the
English Football League to have a more
meaningful “fit and proper” person tests
for club ownerships. It is not difficult
to see how having minimum thresholds
for female board members could bring
about improved club governance as
part of a wider governance review.
Such changes may be met with
resistance, given it is possible to
visualise the vested interests or
potentially anarchistic views of some
of those owning and/or running clubs.
Such individuals will not be aligned to
change and progress, especially as it will
not be possible to immediately equate
change with pound signs.
That is to miss the point. The more
enlightened clubs will recognise that
best practice on board governance
strongly supports a more generally
diverse and inclusive board. The financial
performance of companies with diverse
boards should also strongly encourage
smart, progressive professional clubs
to change, even if the financial rewards
may not be immediately obvious.
This is not to argue that in the short or
medium term there should be financial
parity on paying professionals. That
should and will only follow once the
commercial success of a sport allows
this to be possible. It is no different to
understanding why a Premier League
player earns more than a League
However, it is the case that on-field
success is what drives all professional
clubs. With better decision making on
boards, it is easy to see how this feeds
down onto the pitch. It is also the case
in reality that clubs will increase their
chances of success with active, wellsupported and run women’s teams.
For many clubs, real success in the
men’s game is all but a pipe dream.
Why not look at an alternative road to
success which may then have wider,
long-term benefits, financial and
sporting, for the club?
Farrer & Co
Female representation across the
Big Six Premier League Clubs:
Rugby Premiership Clubs
County Cricket Clubs