WSL

Kelly points to high standard of football as key to WSL record attendances Featured

By Sports Desk December 30, 2023 203

Chloe Kelly believes the record attendances in the Women's Super League (WSL) this season are down to the standard of football that is being played.

The attendance record for a single WSL game has been beaten twice this season, while the average number of spectators inside the grounds are also growing across the division.

Kelly Simmons, the FA director of the women's professional game, pointed to England Women's victory at Euro 2022 as the key reason for the rise in attendances.

Manchester City Women's Kelly, who scored the winning goal in the final of Euro 2022 against Germany, credited the increase in standard as spearheading the rise of women's football.

Speaking at the launch of the first ever Panini Barclays Women's Super League sticker collection at the National Football Museum, Kelly said: "[It is] definitely the football that the girls are playing.

"I think every club this season has shown exactly what they're about and I think to hit record attendance just shows the work that we're doing on the pitch but away from the pitch as well.

"I think we're showing great personalities and we want as many people to come and watch us and it's about what we do on the pitch that brings them to the stadiums."

Manchester United Women's Nikita Parris was also part of the Euro 2022 success, and she agrees with Kelly that the level of play is the main attraction for fans.

Parris highlighted the recent 4-1 victory for Arsenal Women over Chelsea Women, which broke the record for attendance at a WSL match with its crowd of 59,042, as an example of the high calibre of play.

When asked what she thought the key reason for the increased attendance was, Parris replied: "I think ultimately the standard of quality in the game.

"You've seen the game against Arsenal and Chelsea, a great spectacle, quality on both sides and goals. Goals bring spectators, goals bring games and the more goals you score in the game definitely the more exciting it is."

Rachel Brown-Finnis, now a pundit after a long playing career, is delighted with the growth in the women's game and is hoping its rapid rise continues, explaining: "Where the women's game is now, it's unprecedented.

"We're successful, we've won the European Championships, we've got to the final of the World Cup, we're seeing crowds that we've never ever seen before.

"People want to attend domestic games, people clearly want to attend Lionesses' matches which is why most of them are hosted at Wembley, and sell-out Wembley's. That's on an upward trajectory, that I don't see anything really dipping that."

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Last modified on Saturday, 30 December 2023 09:29
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