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| 2 minutes read

IWD24 KIC Special with Maggie Murphy, CEO, Lewes FC

Well, we 100% lucked out when we secured our “inspirational female leader” for the Hassans’ Keeping It Civil International Women’s Day 24 Special.

And this episode is really really quite special. Ian Felice, Hassans’ Partner and Sports Law specialist, hosted the phenomenal Lewes FC CEO, Maggie Murphy, who captivatingly told us the story of how a UK football club has become known as Equality FC - the first (and currently only) professional or semi-professional club in the world to start treating its women footballers the same as its men – the same playing budgets, same pitch, same training facilities - and how this came to fruition after the club was brought back from the brink of collapse, with its Directors in 2017 having the vision and voice to launch the ground-breaking Equality FC campaign, with Maggie appointed by the club as CEO in 2019.

We could have spoken for hours (ultimately just 40mins)…Maggie’s approach to having achieved an ethical and profitable club is nothing short of exceptional.  And not that you'd need more convincing to hit the listen button, but purely as it's such a great story, it's worth highlighting: 

  • The club is 100% owner owned with 2500 owners from over 40 countries (including Gibraltar). Their ethos and approach is unique, matchday facilities are second to none - locally sourced food and drink (50% of which is vegan) prosecco on tap (yes please!), dedicated baby feeding areas, the list goes on. 
     
  • Environmental sustainability is at the top of their agenda; roughly 170 solar panels generate approximately 36,000 kWh of electricity per year for the “Dripping Pan’s” South Stand; Lewes FC men’s midfielder Bradley Pritchard set up ‘Brad’s Pit’ in the summer of 2021 - a community garden overlooking the southeast corner flag; they hold “The Green Football Weekend” an annual event encouraging fans to travel to the ground by bike or public transport, volunteer to get their hands dirty in the garden, and purchase pre-loved merch in the club shop. 
     
  • Alongside all of this (and more, visit their site here), the Club has been fiercely campaigning for an equal FA Cup since 2019. Of the total £26m prize fund allocated by the FA, £20m goes to the men’s FA Cup and still, just £6m to the women’s –a 77%/23% split. Up until November 2023, it was just £3m….. 

Want a slice of Equality FC action? More owners means more equality, there are loads of inclusive (of course) and affordable options on how people can get involved here. Their impact report can also be read here.

Listen here and a subtitled version can be found here https://youtu.be/UuTwNfEmURA

 

Football is great, but there’s a lot of stuff wrong with it, like, a lot. So we see ourselves as having two jobs. Of course, one is to play brilliant football, win trophies and bring joy to our fans. But the other is to help to change the bad stuff in football, the inequality, the rubbish governance and obscene mis-distribution of resources. And because football is so insanely popular, changing football can genuinely help change the world. lewesfc.com/...

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