Next goals for women’s football should be ‘sustainability and investment’ | British News

Kelly Simmons and Ellen White visit young players and staff at Actonians Sports Club in London (Photo: Paul Harding/Getty Images for The National Lottery)

Kelly Simmons and Ellen White visit young players and staff at Actonians Sports Club in London (Photo: Paul Harding/Getty Images for The National Lottery)

“We still need some money from men’s clubs,” admits Kelly Simmons of the financial state women’s football is in at the moment.

The pioneer, who earned an OBE for her dedication to the sport, began working with the FA in 1991.

In 2018, she took on the task of driving the advancement of women’s football.

This year is her last year in this position, but she can look back with a sense of pride and see the progress that has been made possible for current and future Lionesses.

A recent review – spearheaded by former player Karen Carney – called for yet another setback to England’s success at last year’s EURO.

Broadcasting times, financing and prize money are important issues.

Kelly told “The next goal of women’s football has to be sustainability.”

“We’re raising revenue to invest but still depend on some money from men’s clubs.”

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“The long-term goal is to attract more brands to women’s football, make more investments and increase matchday revenue to continue football’s growth.”

“In terms of grassroots football, it’s great that this year we have the World Cup to inspire girls to play and programs like the National Lottery to capitalize on that interest and help clubs create new teams.”

Kelly was joined by England legend Ellen White on a visit to Actonians FC in London on Friday.

The team has benefited from recent funding and has been able to expand their options for young girls who want to play.

Kelly continued, “It was nice to be here at Actonians Girls Gootball Club.”

Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright train with England in Australia

Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright train ahead of their first World Cup match against Haiti in Australia (Credit: James Whitehead/SPP/Shutterstock)

“It’s great to see clubs that offer girls and women all the opportunities, from young girls coming in every year, to the opportunity to play, to the women’s stage.”

“This is thanks in part to a program of grants from the National Lottery to ensure a legacy is built on the Lionesses’ success.”

Seeing the rapid growth of women’s football is almost overwhelming for Kelly, who is always branded “crazy” on social media after expressing hopes for women’s football.

She added: “When I came to the FA many moons ago, we were 80 teams.”


Join the National Lottery X Women’s World Cup event on July 21, 2023 at the Actonians Sports Club in London, England. Former England football team and England’s record goalscorer, Ellen White, visited Actonians Girls FC to celebrate the start of the Women’s World Cup and to see the impact of the National Lottery’s investment in women’s and girls’ football. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images for The National Lottery) The World Cup comes at the perfect time for young England fans who have just started their school holidays (Photo: Paul Harding/Getty Images for The National Lottery)

“There are now more than three million women and girls playing some form of football, which is phenomenal.” This is thanks in part to the investment and incredibly hard work of people across the country.

“The profile of the Women’s World Cup will only help keep it that way.”

Time differences won’t deter those wanting to catch the games, added Kelly, who set the alarm very early on Friday to watch Nigeria v Canada.

“People will find a way to watch games, especially the England games,” she said.

“Kids are on summer vacation and I’ve heard of people throwing work tour parties.”

“The attention will be on the Women’s World Cup and that will only get bigger as it progresses and if England do well.”

“It’s the biggest women’s sports tournament in the world and there are so many teams that could win it, it’s fascinating.”

Kelly visited Actonians FC with Lioness legend Ellen White, whose interview from the day you can read here.

National Lottery players raise more than £30m a week for causes including vital funds for sport – from grassroots to elite.

Find out how your numbers make great things happen at: #TNLAthletes #MakeAmazingHappen

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Justin Scaccy

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