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Expands Global Commitment to Advance Women’s Football
London, England and Washington, D.C. (15 December 2023) – The London City Lionesses (LCL) and Michele Kang have announced today that Kang has acquired the London-based women’s football Club. LCL is the only fully independent women’s only football club in England’s top two professional women’s leagues. The Lionesses compete in the Barclay’s Women’s Championship league.
“This is an exciting opportunity for LCL and for the women’s game in the UK and globally. I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved and want to thank everybody involved from day one of our journey,” said Founder Diane Culligan. “I am thrilled to be handing over the reins to Michele. Her leadership, drive and determination will continue to pave the way to achieving growth and sustainability in the women’s game.”
Culligan built a player-first culture focused on leveling the playing field and creating opportunities for women and girls to be successful and inspiring them to be their best. Culligan and Kang share a vision where women and girls can have a career in all aspects – on and off the pitch.
“I want to thank Diane for her vision in establishing LCL in 2019 and for entrusting me with the responsibility to take the club to the next level,” said Kang. “I see tremendous possibility in this team and look forward to helping the club and the players reach their highest potential.”
The timing follows a recent announcement that the Barclays Women’s Super League (BWSL) and Barclays Women’s Championship (BWC) will move to a new governance structure (“NewCo”) with a club-owned model and away from Football Association control by the time of the 2024-2025 season.
“The NewCo model for BWSL and BWC is a great example of how women’s sports will be uplifted in England and globally,” says Kang. “We need more investment focused solely on the female game so that the resources are uncompromised.”
This acquisition is another step for Kang in realizing her vision to build the preeminent female sports organization in the world with a high-performance culture of winning on and off the pitch, training women as women, and inspiring the next generation. Kang brings an unprecedented level of professionalism and investment where young girls and women around the world will be able to embrace careers at the highest level of football.
“I want to inspire young female athletes to keep playing and see a future for themselves in the sport they love,” remarked Kang.
This deal is a continuation of Kang’s mission to create a level playing field between men and women in football. Earlier this year, Kang signed an agreement with OL Groupe to take the helm of the eight-time Champions League winning OL Feminine in France. She is also the majority owner of the 2021 U.S. National Women’s Soccer League Champion, Washington Spirit.
Each club in Kang’s group will retain its own established identity, respecting its heritage, community, and supporter bases. Kang will invest strategically to upgrade infrastructure and grow the fan base for each club. In parallel, significant resources will be devoted centrally to developing capabilities that will be shared across all teams such as performance science and technology, data analytics, global scouting, and sporting staff development.
About Michele Kang
Michele Kang is an American businesswoman, investor, and philanthropist. Born and raised in South Korea, Kang came to the United States as a student and has spent her career building businesses that challenge the status quo. She is the recipient of the 2023 Horatio Alger Award, which honors Americans who exemplify dedication, purpose, and perseverance in their personal and professional lives. In 2022, Ms. Kang became the majority owner of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit and was selected by the Sports Business Journal as a Power Player in Women’s Sports.
About London City Lionesses
Founded in 2019, London City Lionesses is London’s first independent professional Women’s Football Club. They compete in The FA Women’s Championship, the second tier of the women’s domestic game in England. Home matches are played at Princes Park, Darenth Road, Dartford, DA1 1RT.
For more information visit www.LondonCityLionesses.com
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