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Michele Kang on multi-club ownership: 'The goal is to make every team the champion of their league'

Michele Kang's path to building the world's preeminent sports organisation spans two continents, three forward-thinking clubs, and ground-breaking sports science research.

Michele Kang, London City Lionesses (Image: Wing Chong)

"I am fully aware of the negative connotation of multi-club ownership on the men’s side," Kang told an audience of industry leaders and reporters in London.

"But I will submit to you that multi-club ownership is a necessity, not a luxury or greed, on the women’s side because we need to invest to the level that the players deserve to deliver on the potential of the women's game."

Kang acquired London City Lionesses in December 2023, adding the team to a portfolio that already included the Washington Spirit and Olympique Lyonnais Women.

The American is a proponent of multi-club ownership in the women's game, creating a network of high-powered teams that can pool resources and work together on tackling the big issues.

"Unfortunately, there isn’t that much money to invest in women’s football because of the lack of media dollars," Kang continued.

"When I took over the Spirit, for example, I learned that women’s football clubs borrow their training manuals from men because there is no knowledge about training female athletes.

The way that women run, in terms of weight distribution, is very different to men, so they can’t wear the same boots that are just narrower and pink.

"Information is starting to become available, but there is no scale of research or study of women’s bodies, with 94 percent of all science and medical research projects on athletic performance dedicated to men."

Kang is committed to answering the big questions facing the women's game, combining resources to professionalise the sport around the world.

"We’ve decided to undertake the primary research on that because we can’t properly train our players without that data," Kang continued, "at the end of the day, we are in the business of producing the best football games for our fans and our athletes need to be in the best shape for us to be able to that.

"It’s not possible to do that for one team because it takes a lot of money and no women’s football team makes a lot of money right now. You need multiple teams so that you can pool the resources together and research at a central level.

"It relates to everything – from how we train our players to how we design our training centres. We don't need to answer those questions alone, you can work together and make the outcomes available for every team in the system. It's a necessity for women's teams."

Kang has one objective in mind for all of her teams — winning.

"We don’t own multiple teams to make sure that one is successful," Kang explained. "I’m often asked who I would cheer for if Lyon, the Spirit, and London City played against each other. My answer is ‘let the best team win’.

We're not going to sacrifice one team to make another team successful – absolutely not. We’re doing everything in our power to make each of our teams the champion in their league.

"We’re not going to move players around so that one team is better than the others, they're coming into each of the teams to address the strengths and weaknesses of that team. 

"The goal is to make every team the champion in each of the leagues that they play in."

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