- Chloe Morgan, Crystal Palace’s No1, recently joined Women in Football
- The network, which launched its new manifesto this week, is the lawyer-keeper’s latest project
- Morgan tells us how she combines football with her day job and campaigning work
She’s a litigation lawyer who keeps goal for Crystal Palace, and juggling those demanding roles would be laudable in itself. But with Chloe Morgan, that merely scratches the surface of a dizzying array of commitments, achievements and good fights being fought.
The 30-year-old is, after all, also an ambassador for KickOff@3, an initiative that utilises sport to build relationships between young people and local police. And Morgan - somehow - finds time to act as diversity and inclusion officer and goalkeeping coach at Goal Diggers FC, a non-profit club set up to make football more accessible to women and non-binary people.
Impressed? You should be – and it gets even better. Morgan, you see, is also a passionate, public campaigner on issues impacting women and the BAME and LGBTQ+ communities. And it was through this activism that the Londoner, herself an openly gay player, came to take on yet another role: joining Women in Football on the Vikki Orvice Memorial Directorship Scheme.
“It’s a fantastic organisation,” she explained when asked what tempted her to add to an already-lengthy list of responsibilities. “Given that I’ve always tried to speak out about issues of equality, Women in Football really appealed to me because it’s a network at the forefront of driving positive change. And football itself has the potential to be a massive influence in so many social spheres.
“Women in Football has been around since 2007, has over 4,000 members and, besides tackling gender discrimination, they also provide networking events, leadership courses and training events to upskill women and men in the women’s football industry. It’s a real honour to be a part of it, and to hopefully help in the work they do – because gender discrimination in football still exists.
“One of the findings of Women in Football’s recent survey was that 66 per cent of the members had suffered gender discrimination in the workplace. And in only 12 per cent of those cases had someone felt comfortable enough to come forward and report it. That shows there’s still a lot of work to do.”
A lot of work for football, but also – as that remarkable list of commitments and causes underlines – for Morgan herself. But is it too much? Does she never feel overwhelmed by her various, often-competing obligations?
“It definitely makes for a busy schedule but I feel I operate best when I’m busy,” she told FIFA.com. “It requires a lot of forethought and planning to make sure that I’m two steps ahead and not double-booked, but I’m passionate about everything I do, so nothing seems like a chore.
“Sometimes I’ll have had a hard day at work, dealing with cases and quite stressful situations, and then I’ll go out at night to coach with Goal Diggers. And even if it’s hammering down with rain, I’ll have a fantastic time, sliding around and working with an amazing group of people. It can be the highlight of my week."
There is, fortunately, plenty of competition for that title, with Morgan – having recently made the cross-London switch from Tottenham Hotspur to Crystal Palace – enjoying a new lease of life between the sticks.
“I’m loving my football right now,” she enthused. “It was great at Spurs but I needed more game time, and that’s what I’ve found at Crystal Palace. That feeling of being out on the pitch again has been amazing, and I’m loving every minute of being part of a great group of girls and a club that’s very ambitious.
“It’s an exciting time for English women’s football right now,” she added. “You look at the signings coming into the WSL – Sam Kerr, Alex Morgan, Pernille Harder and so on – and it looks like England is the place to be at the moment. That can only be good for encouraging more girls into the game."
As for Morgan herself, while still only 30 – and with several good goalkeeping years left to enjoy – she has already begun to look to a post-playing future. And, typically, she is thinking big.
“I feel I’ve been quite greedy in the things I’ve been juggling, with my job, my football and the various other things I have going on. And honestly, I don’t want to give up any of them,” she said. “But I’m getting towards the end of my football career now and, going forward, I would like to take an even more active role in causes like the ones Women in Football promote – and to leave a legacy if I can.
“My ultimate goal would be ensuring that the negative experiences people of my generation have had to endure – whether that’s women or minority groups - are not experienced by the next generation coming through. That won’t be easy, but it’s worth fighting for – and we have lots of good people working towards achieving it.”
None of them, it seems safe to assume, will be working harder than Crystal Palace’s No1.