Newcastle women's team to turn pro in third tier next season

Newcastle women's team celebrate with trophy at St. James' Park Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Newcastle United women will become a full-time professional team when they play in the third-tier Women's National League next season, the club announced on Friday.

The women's team were semi-professional when they won the Division One North title last season to gain promotion to the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division.

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"Newcastle United Women's first team squad will now have an opportunity to dedicate themselves full-time as they pursue further success, with the ultimate aim of reaching the [top tier] Women's Super League," the club said in a statement.

"As well as receiving competitive salaries, the players will be able to train throughout the week and will have access to professional equipment, treatment and injury-prevention facilities."

The team will continue to play their home matches at Kingston Park.

"We hope to be a leading light in the movement towards professionalism in the women's game and inspire women and girls who dream of pursuing a career in football," head coach Becky Langley said.

Newcastle United CEO Darren Eales said it was a "historic moment" as they become the first fully professional women's club in the third tier and thanked the owners for their support.

The club are owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), who have an 80% stake in the club with the rest divided between RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners.

Newcastle's men's team will play in the Champions League next season for the first time in two decades after finishing fourth in the league in their first full season since the PIF-led takeover, which was rubber-stamped in October 2021.