Where were you on 31 July 2022, when a corner was swung in and Chloe Kelly poked the ball into the net? A scrappy goal made beautiful by the weight of history, the support of a nation, and of course, 56 years of hurt. England were crowned UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 champions.
More moments like this will only be possible when the barriers facing girls and women in football are removed. This is why we have announced two partnerships with The Football Association (FA) to champion women in football.
We are so excited to be the Official Partner of the England Women’s Senior Team, the Lionesses. But that’s not all. Xero will also become the Official Partner of England Football – focusing on helping the country’s grassroots Accredited Club football network.
Through this partnership, we will deliver support for girls and women at both the grassroots and elite levels, recognising one cannot thrive without the other.
How the partnership works
We take huge pride in partnering with the Lionesses, and their triumph this summer was a watershed moment for the women’s game in England. But the journey didn’t end with lifting the trophy. This is a foundation to build greater equality.
In addition, financial viability is vital for clubs at all levels to continue to thrive. But there’s a long way to go, with almost half (47%) of football clubs stating that they would benefit from support with the financial management of their club*.
This is why our partnerships with the Lionesses and England Football will see us work with The FA Grassroots Team, County Football Associations, and the FA Club Consultants to provide access to a comprehensive range of educational resources for financial management. We’ll also provide a platform for grassroots clubs to find and connect with local accountants and bookkeepers.
By ensuring the financial health of clubs, we will encourage more girls and women into playing football. Because better numbers off the pitch deliver better numbers on it.
Supporting grassroots football
Grassroots football sits at the heart of so many communities.
And in turn, communities and small businesses – from the caterers bringing pie and mash to supporters, to the transport firms ferrying teams to away days – are absolutely crucial to the success of clubs, and the sport as a whole.
Through these partnerships we will enable clubs to work together with their local small business and accounting and bookkeeping communities, while reducing their financial management burden. But this is just one step in a long journey.
Continuing the journey
Our partnerships with The FA demonstrate our continued commitment to supporting women’s football at all levels. Earlier this year, we announced a global partnership with FIFA Women’s Football covering the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, and partnered with Lewes FC in East Sussex to help the club on its mission to drive greater equality.
We’re thrilled to be undertaking this journey together. But we know the game will need continued investment and support to empower future generations of women and girls to play football at every level. By providing this support, we can experience more moments like the one in July, when the net bulged and Wembley rose to its feet.