Leicester City have acquired the rights to Leicester City Women allowing the FA Women’s Championship side to go full time professionals for the 20201/2021 season.
Premier League club Leicester City’s parent company King Power have acquired Leicester City Women who were up until a few days ago an independent outfit originally formed in 2004.
Leicester City chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “The introduction of a women’s team embedded within the club has been an ambition of ours for some time and today it can start to be realised”.
“LCFC Women will carry the standard, but our vision for developing the women’s game in Leicester is wide-ranging. We want to build on the recent success of women’s football to inspire a generation of young girls and to ensure opportunities exist for the gifted among them to have a future in the game”.
12 players from LCWFC who were part of the team before the acquisition have been signed to professional contracts alongside 11 new signings joining the club this summer from other FA WSL and FAWC teams.
Leicester City are a Premier League team who have enjoyed a rise in success over the last few years following their promotion to the Premier League in 2014. They then went on to win the Premier League in the 2015/16 season in what was a historic season for the Foxes. The women’s team has been supported by the Premier League club since the team was formed in 2004 and now that Leicester have established themselves as a top flight division club having been in the Premier League for several seasons, they see now as the right time to give their women’s team that extra support.
Leicester City Women also had their FA Women’s Championship licence approved and appointed Russ Fraser as their head of women’s football for Leicester Women. Morgan said: “This is an amazing step forward, both for or team and for women’s football in the city. For many years now, we have proudly represented Leicester City in the women’s game and tried to build an organisation with solid foundations, high standards and the potential for growth”.
The take over of the club is not just the best thing for the team right now but for the future of football not just in Leicester but England as a whole. More and more opportunities for young girls and women to be involved in the game are arising but its clubs like Leicester and those in the top divisions that will offer the best academy opportunities for girls aspiring to be the next Steph Houghton or Kelly Smith and be able to live out their dreams of being professional footballers one day.
It is a welcomed investment for the women’s game in general with only a few other clubs in the FA Women’s Championship being full time. They include Liverpool FC Women who dropped down in to the second tier for the first time in their history after a poor season and the cancellation of the league due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Durham and Sheffield Utd are two other full time sides, Sheffield narrowly missed out promotion to the top division last season with the league being decided on a points per game system meaning Aston Villa went up. Durham finished third in the league last season.
In order for the women’s game to grow and get better both on and off the pitch, more women’s clubs need to be invested in. Women’s football gets more and more competitive each year but if it is only the top teams who are getting more investment then some teams will be left behind with the teams who currently get a good amount of support and are at the top being the ones who win everything and we can’t afford to leave anyone behind, not if we want women’s football to be the best it possibly can be.
Leicester City Women are due to start their 2020/2021 Championship campaign on the 6th of September against Blackburn Rovers Ladies, they also have an exciting postponed game to play against Manchester City Women on the weekend of the 26th/27th of September. They will be heading in to the new season with a bit more hunger and rive about them, this is something that they have always had but with new backing and more full time, professional players being brought in and them being able to train every day is something that will be new for a few of their players and will give them more of a reason to give everything they have on the pitch this season.