3 min read

Michele Kang bolsters women’s football ownership portfolio with acquisition of London City Lionesses


In a significant development for English soccer’s second division, American businesswoman Michele Kang has completed the acquisition of London City Lionesses.

The announcement of the deal, made public on Friday, comes on the heels of Kang’s partnership in May with the owner of French club Lyon, forming an international multi-team women’s soccer organisation.

While the financial details of the London City transaction remain undisclosed, Kang expressed her optimism about the team’s potential. “I see tremendous possibility in this team and look forward to helping the club and the players reach their highest potential,” she said. “I want to inspire young female athletes to keep playing and see a future for themselves in the sport they love.”

Kang is already the majority owner of the Washington Spirit in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and is in the process of becoming the owner of Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, which competes in the French Division 1 Féminine.

The 64-year-old is driven by the larger goal of building the “preeminent female sports organisation in the world,” as highlighted in a joint statement by Kang and the Lionesses. This move is aligned with Kang’s mission to establish equality between men’s and women’s football.

London City Lionesses, an independent club competing in the second division beneath the Women’s Super League, becomes a crucial part of Kang’s ambitious plan. The acquisition coincides with a transformative period for the Women’s Super League and the Championship, as they transition into a potentially more lucrative governance structure. The English Football Association currently oversees both leagues, but a new independent body, NewCo, is set to take control starting the 2024-25 season, with each of the 24 professional clubs becoming shareholders.

“The NewCo model for (the two leagues) is a great example of how women’s sports will be uplifted in England and globally,” Kang said in Friday’s announcement.

”We need more investment focused solely on the female game so that the resources are uncompromised.”

Kang, the founder and CEO of Cognosante, a Virginia-based technology company, brings a abundance of leadership and financial resources to the Lionesses. Born and raised in South Korea, Kang’s commitment to advancing women’s football aligns with the goals set by the Lionesses, established in 2019 by founder Diane Culligan.

“I am thrilled to be handing over the reins to Michele,” Culligan said.

“Her leadership, drive and determination will continue to pave the way to achieving growth and sustainability in the women’s game.”

The acquisition marks a pivotal moment as Kang takes charge, steering the London City Lionesses into an exciting future within the evolving landscape of women’s football.

Image credit: Sam Mallia Photography

It's free to join the team!

Join the most engaged community in the Sports Business World.

Get all the latest news, insights, data, education and event updates.