The UK, especially England, has taken quite a beating in recent weeks. We are no longer in the Euro’s with Gary Lineker calling it our worst defeat in history; no wonder Roy Hodgson resigned. Marcus Rashford seemed to provide a glimmer of hope but, as we all know, Iceland left with the last laugh.
Skip ahead a week and we saw a repeat with Wales, although this time, a few more people expected the defeat. Does this mean there’s going to be less enthusiasm for welsh football? At 1v1 footballs we’ve been evaluating what success (or failure) means for the future of football.
After Great Britain brought home 12 cycling medals in the London Olympics the roads were bustling with keen riders laced in lycra trying to beat their PB. Halfords validated this trend by reporting an increase in sales by 14.7%. It seems success inspires people to get active. It will be interesting to see what trends are inspired from the Rio Olympics. Whether an equivalent success would do the same for the football industry is a different story.
With Gary Lineker fronting the Euro’s with 140 hours of scheduled coverage (even if England are out..) it is easy to see how football could reach the homes of those who it has not yet invaded, if there are any left. Kids learn that there is success to be had in football. But with football training present in almost every school, village, town, and city, it is hard to imagine how much further the football industry could expand... at least for boys.
Although many young boys are influenced into trying football at some stage of their lives, there has been a long tradition of girls not wanting to get involved, or not feeling like it’s an option. So what has the relationship been for success and participation in women’s football?
Women’s football has seen an increase in both investment and media coverage. Whilst media coverage has stemmed from the women’s world cup last year, the FA have led the way for investors with their 5-year commitment plan to increase participation. In terms of actual figures, the Football League Trust has absolutely smashed it’s biannual target, and have encouraged the participation of over 20,000 women. Not only are more women trying it out, but they’re sticking to it. The number of Google searches for Women’s football boots has been rising year on year from 2009.
We can assume the more successful we are in women’s football the more it will be plastered on the popular media outlets i.e. BBC, ITV, even The Sun. It’s clear to see also that there is a positive trend between media coverage of a sport and participation. Success in women’s football, will be paving the way for success in the future.
For the boys, it seems like the market is pretty stable whatever the outcome. Even if England didn’t even qualify for the Euro’s, football would carry on. But for young girls? It seems like next year’s coverage and success in the women’s euro’s will only spark more and more interest and investment.