Zoe Johnson has been appointed as the new Managing Director of women’s and girls’ football at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Following an external recruitment process, the current head of women’s football at Sheffield United will bring what has been described as an ‘impressive range of experience’ to Brighton & Hove Albion Women Football club.
Women’s and girls’ Chair, Michelle Walder, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Zoe to the club. Her experience in the women’s game is a unique blend of playing, coaching and administration.
Johnson will sit on the club’s executive committee and will report to chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber.
Johnson has also held further roles in the sport such as RTC technical director at Liverpool and women’s first-team manager at Sheffield FC, as well as several years coaching both boys and girls of all ages at Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.
“Her appointment is a clear signal from the club about our long-term aspirations for women’s and girls’ football as she will occupy a senior role in the club’s executive team,” Walder continued. “We’re excited about what the future holds and look forward to working with Zoe.”
The new hire will have full operational and strategic responsibility for women’s and girls’ football, and will work closely with the club’s senior technical teams, having a ‘key role’ in the appointment of a new head coach, following Hope Powell’s recent decision to step down.
“The decision to change from a General Manager model to a Managing Director role on the club’s senior management team is a further statement of the club’s intent as we look to realise our ‘top-four’ vision for our first-team in the Barclays Women’s Super League,” the club said.
Brighton’s decision to bolster senior management of its women’s football activity comes amid a surge in interest, particularly following the success of the Euros earlier this year, which saw an upsurge in commercial activity around the sport.
In an interview after the 2022 competition, Sam Patterson, Marketing Director at Footy.com, discussed with Insider Sport the reasons behind the spike of engagement for the women’s game.
“We had such a strong squad and club,” she said. “I think it’s the fact that it feels like a more inclusive version of football, it’s family friendly, it’s more affordable, and I think that the quality of football on the pitch is really high as well.”