Client Stories: Cardiff City FC Women’s

Cardiff City Women turn semi-pro

Discover how our Sports team and Employment experts assisted Cardiff City FC in becoming Wales’ first full women’s squad to sign semi-professional contracts.

Our Partnership

Our partnership with CCFC is long established.

Our Employment and Immigration team first started working with CCFC over 10 years ago, in 2012. We have provided advice on a whole host of matters, those involving players and coaches as well as wider CCFC staff. Throughout our long-term partnership with CCFC, we have worked closely with Dawn Williamson, Head of Human Resources & Payroll at the Club as well as other key senior managers.

In mid-2022 Lee Southernwood, Football Support Executive at CCFC reached out to Rebecca Mahon, Senior Associate in our Employment Team. Lee, alongside Iain Darbyshire (Head of Women’s and Girls Football at CCFC), shared with us that they wanted to make Cardiff City FC Women a professional team, the first full women’s squad to become professional in Wales. High-level terms were mapped out, and then it was over to us to prepare the landmark contract.

All professional players in Wales are required to sign up to the Football Association of Wales (FAW) standard template contract. This is a document that was prepared in 2019 and assumes that the players will be earning the majority of their income by playing football, which wouldn’t be the case for the CCFCW players. Other key provisions of the FIFA and UEFA Regulations which relate to female players (e.g. terms specific to pregnancy and maternity) were also not detailed within the FAW template. Lee (and the rest of the Club) were keen to make sure that this landmark contract was a perfect fit for the CCFCW team. Rebecca therefore prepared a revised version of the FAW template, which Lee proceeded to share with the FAW. After a few months of back and forth, the template was approved by the FAW, just in time for the start of the 2023/24 season. It was great to see the CCFCW players signing up to our contracts, wearing their shirts sponsored by Capital Law, and to hear what the contracts meant to them.

Since working on the CCFCW contracts, we have continued to work with the Club, most recently assisting Sarah Nightingale (Player Care Manager at CCFC) with preparing documentation for Academy players that are hosted by local families.

Supporting Womens football in Wales

For the last two seasons, we have sponsored Cardiff City Women’s, collaborating on various projects and finding new ways to tell player stories. Players have joined us for conversations on their sport careers, the growth in the women’s game and how vital corporate support is to the development of grassroots football.

A leading firm in Sports law

Our significant work with high profile sports clubs has earned us an international reputation in the sector – particularly in rugby, football, golf, and cricket.

Our key lawyers have strong sporting backgrounds and maintain their links with sporting clubs, professional sportsmen and women, and governing bodies throughout England and Wales.

We are legal advisors to Cardiff City FC, Pontypool Rugby, Glamorgan Cricket Club, and Wales’ regional rugby team. We are also appointed to both the UK Anti-Doping’s and the Gambling Commission’s legal panels.

The issues we represent our clients in are diverse, meaning we have high expertise in all areas, both contentious and non-contentious.

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