Kelly Simmons & MBE Paul Barber join Women in Football Board

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Women in Football have announced today that Kelly Simmons, Women’s Professional Game Director at The FA, and Paul Barber, Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman at Brighton & Hove Albion FC, have joined the board as Directors.

Article By William Ledbury (WilliamLedbury)

Chairman of Women in Football, Ebru Köksa, couldn’t contain her excitement at the new additions – and believes that their experience can help grow women’s participation in the game.

I am thrilled to welcome Kelly and Paul to the Women in Football Board,” she said. “They will both bring their own tremendous scope of experience and expertise – which will help us drive and execute our vision,” Köksa added.

 As an organisation Women in Football is more relevant today than ever. Our membership has grown to a record high 4,150 and we are offering more opportunities in spite of the challenges of COVID-19.

Our focus remains on supporting our members while creating a pathway of opportunities for those who strive to flourish in football. As an organisation, we want to keep moving, keep developing and keep on the front foot. 

The addition of Kelly and Paul will enhance those key objectives. We very much look forward to working with them both.” She said.

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There have also been other additions to the Women in Football’s board this afternoon. Chloe Morgan (Lawyer and Crystal Palace Goalkeeper) and Jade Morgan (General Manager at Leicester City Women) will be joining the board as joint recipients of the Vikki Orvice Director Scheme. The programme was set up in memory of Women in Football founding member Vikki, who was a trailblazer for women working in Football.

Working alongside their current roles within football, both Kelly and Paul are looking forward to taking their places on the board.

Kelly said: “I am a great admirer of the work of Women in Football in promoting, developing and championing women in the industry. I’m really thrilled to be joining the board and supporting the cause in any way I can.

Paul added: “I am delighted to be invited to join the board of Women in Football. I have seen first hand the work they do to promote women across all levels and different professionals within professional and grassroots football.

My main motivation for accepting the appointment was helping to increase the profile of women’s game in general, and women working in all areas of the game.

This supports Brighton & Hove Albion’s equality policy and our aims and objectives in this area. On a personal note, I have two daughters working in professional football, with aspirations to build their own careers in our industry.” Barber said.

Speaking about Chloe and Jade, who will take up their role on the Vikki Orvice Memorial Directorship Scheme, Women in Football CEO Jane Purdon added, “Such was the high quality of applicants we are delighted to offer both Chloe and Jade the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to seek a board position by working closely with our board for one year.

 We would like to place on record our thanks to Poonam Majithia, the inaugural recipient of the Directorship Scheme. Poonam’s input was as valuable for us as we hope the learning experience was for her.”

All four new board members will join our current directors, Prof. Sue Bridgewater, Ben Carter, Monique Choudhury, Liz Ellen, Hala Ousta, Lungi Macebo, Lisa Parfitt, Jo Tongue, and Chair, Ebru Köksal, with immediate effect.