We believe, as Lewes FC do, that for women’s football to thrive, the financial viability of clubs at all levels is essential. Put simply, we believe that better numbers off the pitch will deliver better numbers on it.
Today we’re incredibly excited to announce a three year partnership between Lewes FC and Xero to help the club on its mission to drive greater equality in the women’s game.
This partnership will show how the drive for equality in sport and financial sustainability are inexorably linked. When you invest in the women’s game, you invest in the bigger picture. We both believe that improving the financial health of clubs is an important force to encourage more girls and women into playing football. And we believe that using the power of local communities and small businesses can achieve this.
How the partnership will work
Xero and Lewes will work together on a range of initiatives and activations to enable clubs across the country to improve financial viability, and enable them to work together with their local small business and accounting and bookkeeping communities.
Our partnership investment will allow Lewes to hire new staff to focus on executing on their strategy and to communicate the importance of healthy finances to the grassroots clubs community.
We will work with Lewes staff and volunteers who give up their time to run grassroots clubs, helping them to learn and develop skills that enable them to deliver on equality and financial viability.
Together, we’ll also create a local small business network that makes it easier for small businesses and bookkeepers to engage with and support their local football club.
For those who head down to Lewes FC’s home ground, The Dripping Pan, they’ll see Xero’s support on perimeter boards, on the women’s 1st team shirts, as well on (and inside) one of Lewes FC’s famous beach huts.
The economic opportunity
Football across the country has a huge impact on the economy. According to the FA’s report in 2021, 13.5m people across England play football regularly, contributing £7.74bn in direct economic value. Participation in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, and the inspiration it provides, shows the benefit of continued, consistent support, and it is also predicted to contribute £54 million to the economy.
The equal opportunity
However, 70% of women’s football clubs operate at a loss. This has a direct impact on the future of women in football across the country. But it also says something about fundamental business practices.
It has been five years since Lewes FC announced pay parity for the men’s and women’s teams. And the club is thriving on and off the pitch. Their journey to financial sustainability is a constant one, and they’re showing how their approach can work.
For Lewes FC, every penny they spend they have to make themselves. This makes them more innovative, creative and able to focus on great matchday experiences, with local food and drink and a welcoming, inclusive environment. And it makes the club, and the business behind the club, more sustainable in the long term.
To find out more about how Xero is helping to grow the game, visit this page.