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Manchester City Ladies was formed in 1988, but it operated outside the aegis of the men’s organisation until 2012. At that point, the club’s leadership decided to wrap the two organisations together, sharing corporate links, resources, and facilities.
One of the first women’s football teams to fully professionalise, Manchester City has set the tone for the rest of the women’s game in England, with many clubs now having followed suit. The dividends are being reaped. The England squad that went to this summer’s European Championships contained seven Manchester City players, and the team was one of the first to have an advanced and bespoke commercial set-up.
According to Gavin Makel, who has been at Manchester City since 2008 and has led the Women’s football programme since 2013, the decision to professionalise was key to the club’s success, and the joined-up approach across the club has provided a solid platform on which to build.
Gavin Makel is Head of Women’s Football at Manchester City Football Club and was speaking at the Leaders Generation XX Series Think Tank event in June. The Leaders Generation XX Series is designed to provide a year-round platform to discuss and stimulate growth in women’s sport ─ forging better understanding and connections between sport and business to develop the conversation and accelerate the pace of change. This will be done through a series of physical events and regular online content.