Kelly Simmons OBE | FA Director of Women’s Professional Game

Kelly Simmons

Kelly Simmons OBE took up the role of Director of the Women’s Professional Game in September 2018 to help transform professional women’s football in England.

She has developed the FA Women’s Professional Game Strategy to drive the growth of all aspects of The Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship.

She was previously The FA Director of Development, overseeing the implementation of a £200m four-year investment programme into children’s and grassroots football.

Kelly was awarded an MBE in 2002 for services to football and the OBE in 2021 for services to women’s football. She received the BT Sports Industry Award for ‘Leadership in Sport’ in 2016. In 2020 Kelly was named in the ICC All-Star Best IX for ‘doing the most to advance women’s football globally’. In 2022 Kelly was awarded the Arthur Bell Trophy at Sport and Recreation Alliance Annual General Meeting for her contribution to sport. She is a Non-Executive Director of Women in Football, championing gender equality within the football industry.

What one action would you like to see organisations, or the government take to drive gender equity?

The Lionesses’ historic victory at the Euros last summer inspired girls across the country to play football, but only 67% of schools offer them the same opportunity to play football as boys. We want to work with the Government to ensure that all girls have equal access to football in schools, and would like them to take action to ensure that PE has long-term funding and is inspected by Ofsted.