Chelsea announce ‘strategic growth plan’ for women’s team



Chelsea have announced a new “strategic growth plan” which will see the women’s side sit alongside the men’s team in the club’s sporting structure.

The women’s team had previously sat beneath the men’s, and new structure will see the club provide dedicated resources, management and commercial leadership to focus solely on the women’s team.

Chelsea state this will enable the club to “harness the full potential of the opportunity for women’s football” and “help attract new investment into Chelsea Women”.

The Athletic reported this month Chelsea have received interest from investors seeking to acquire a minority stake in their women’s team, with the club’s owners prepared to consider proposals.

U.S.-based merchant bank BDT & MSD Partners has been engaged with as a financial advisor over any potential minority investment.

A Chelsea statement read: “Having analysed the market and discussed with investors, there is a strong desire for an opportunity to invest solely into the women’s game to specifically support women’s football and benefit from the growth in the women’s game.”

Under the new structure, Clearlake Capital, Chelsea’s owners, will continue to be the controlling shareholder in Chelsea Women and will continue to invest in the squad.

The new structure will come into force ahead of the 2024-25 season, as Chelsea undergo a period of change within the women’s set-up. Manager Emma Hayes has departed after 12 years to take the USWNT job, with Sonia Bompastor appointed as the new head coach.

Chelsea’s Commercial director Zarah Al-Kudcy said: “Dedicated resources and facilities are precisely what women’s football needs and deserves to fulfil the enormous opportunities within the game. Further investment only underlines how seriously Chelsea values women’s football and the benefits of this will be seen in the many years to come.”

Chief Operating Officer Jason Gannon added: “Industry-leading infrastructure is key to any team achieving success. In this new era for Chelsea Women, the team will have the support and resources necessary to illustrate our commitment to excellence on and off the field.”

Chelsea secured a record-extending fifth successive Women’s Super League title during the 2023-24 campaign, finishing top of the table with victory over Manchester United in Hayes’ final game in charge.

(Darren Staples/AFP via Getty Images)



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