Throughout May and June, The FA will review the impact of The Gameplan for Growth strategy on the women’s and girls’ game.
Launched in March 2017, the strategy pledged to tackle ambitious targets to double participation, double the game’s fanbase and create a high-performance system and world-class talent pipeline for England teams to achieve consistent success on the world stage.
After four seasons the strategy is now concluding, and The FA will outline its continued support for the women’s and girls’ game with the launch of the 2020-24 vision in the coming months.
In the last review, we look at The Gameplan for Growth’s journey to grow and develop the women’s professional game on and off the pitch.
Please find below the achievements, first-person narratives from Kelly Simmons [The FA’s Women’s Professional Game Director] and David Faulkner [The FA’s Head of Women’s Performance] and four case studies who demonstrate the strategy’s progress.
Performance & Governance:
• The creation of a 12 team, fully professional top flight league
• The establishment of a semi-professional tier 2 FA Women’s Championship
• Restructure of the competition pyramid, moving to a winter season with improved scheduling
• A high-performance system to drive league standards and support England teams
• Enhanced licensing criteria across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship to improve performance on and off the pitch
• The introduction of an FA Women’s Super League & FA Women’s Championship Board, with senior club representation to drive the strategic growth and development of the leagues
• Barclays’ multi-million-pound title partnership of the FA Women’s Super League, the biggest ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand
• A new brand identity across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, FA Women’s National Leagues and the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup
• Continental Tyres renewal as title partner to the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup
• A new partnership with Mitre to become the Official Football Supplier across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship and Women’s FA Cup
• Disney, BT and Deliveroo securing Women’s FA Cup rights
• Introduction of a £500k prize-fund in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League
• Establishing Commercial Committees for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship to help achieve increased financial sustainability for the leagues and clubs
• Average attendance of 3,072 in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League in 2019-20
• 174% increase in attendance at Barclays FA Women’s Super League games from 2016 to 2019-20
• A record Barclays FA Women’s Super League crowd of 38,262 for Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal in November 2019
• 257% increase in the number of domestic games broadcast from 2016 to 2019-20
• Televised peak audiences for Barclays FA Women’s Super League up by 231% from 2016 to 2019-20
• A league peak television audience of 270,000 for Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur in September 2019
• Record peak television audience of 2.2m on BBC One for the 2019 Women’s FA Cup Final
• Record Women’s FA Cup Final attendance of 45,423 in May 2018
• Record FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup crowd of 6,743 in February 2020
• The creation of The FA Player with nearly 100,000 subscribers in the first season and allowing every Barclays FA Women’s Super League to be shown live
• FA Player subscribers from over 150 countries
• Four international Barclays FA Women’s Super League broadcast deals in Mexico & Central America, Scandinavia, Australia and Israel for the 2019-20 season