Sky Sports has revealed that Karen Carney will be the new lead pundit for the Women’s Super League, which comes to Sky for the first time this September.
In March this year, it was announced that the WSL had signed a ‘landmark’ broadcasting deal with both Sky and the BBC, set to be worth up to £24 million over the course of the next three seasons.
And Carney has been chosen to be at the centre of this coverage. The former Chelsea captain played more than 100 times for the Lionesses and made five appearances for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Carney will also be part of Sky’s Premier League coverage and will make her punditry debut for the broadcaster this weekend for the start of the EFL season.
Speaking about the prospect of working with Sky, Carney said: "I'm really excited, I can't wait. I'm looking forward to it, going to games, getting into the tactics, the shape, the goals. I've really missed it, even with the short time it's been off and I'm really itching to get back into it.
"Especially for me personally, joining Sky Sports and there's so much excitement around it here. It's infectious that everyone is buzzing about it and it goes onto you as well."
Carney has established herself as one of the most renowned pundits in the game but has been subject to sexist comments from online trolls in the past.
Last season, the 34-year-old was forced to delete Twitter after her comments on Leeds United led to a wave of abuse –– which included criticism from Leeds’ official account.
A number of fellow pundits and professional footballers quickly jumped to Carney’s defence. Chelsea forward Bethany England condemned Leeds for their actions and emphasised how the Lionesses legend was more than entitled to her opinion.
“Atrocious behaviour by your social platform,” England wrote. “Cyberbullying a female pundit and opening her up to mass online abuse for DOING HER JOB AND HAVING HER OPINION.”
It’s not just Carney who will join Sky’s coverage this season. Sports journalist and broadcaster Caroline Barker, who was the first-ever female host of Match Day Live for Premier League Productions –– will join as lead presenter. Lynsey Hooper will also be part of the team as a reporter.
Sky Sports will broadcast at least 35 WSL matches this year in what promises to be the biggest season of women’s football to date.