Today’s podcast is the first in a new series in which we talk to women about sport and the sports business more generally.

Joining me on this trip is Laura Weston, the global communications consultant and board member of Women’s Sports Trust, as well as being a two time former guest on the show herself.

Laura’s going to be my regular co-host in this series, helping us to ask better questions about women’s relationship with sport and the business that surrounds it.

Our guest today is Maggie Murphy, CEO of Lewes FC, who is asking some really interesting questions herself about the task of building commercial value in women’s sport and specifically the evolution of professional football in Britain.

Murphy doesn’t have the usual football boss CV and comes to the job from a career as a human rights and anti-corruption advocate, working for Transparency International, a global non profit seeking to end the abuse of power in its many forms.

She has been playing adult competitive football since she was thirteen, and has set-up, coached or played for teams in Tanzania, Rwanda, Guadeloupe, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

In 2019, Murphy became CEO of Lewes FC, a small town club in East Sussex playing alongside big names such as Liverpool and Leicester City in the FA Women’s Championship, the second tier of football in England.

But the Lewes story has travelled far beyond the sports pages.

In 2017, they became the first professional or semi-professional football club to pay its women’s team the same as the men’s team as part of their Equality FC initiative, which aims to raise awareness about gender inequality and encourage more support for women’s and girls’ football across the UK and around the world.

We’ll be following up on the themes discussed in the podcast in later episodes and in this week’s Unofficial Partner newsletter, which you can subscribe to via the website if you don’t already.

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