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Women’s game: fans keen to return for 2021-22 season

More than 86% of supporters we surveyed in the women’s game say they are excited to return to football for their first full season back since the pandemic started in 2020.

The survey carried out back in July also shows that fans in the women’s game would not be put off going to the match by any capacity restrictions that may be introduced in the autumn or winter.

The women’s football season will be kicking off this weekend and fans are eager to get back into the matchgoing habit, with four in five respondents who said they were fans of the women’s game (79%) telling us they would return from the very first fixture.

Three-quarters (76%) said they would be returning as being a football fan was a part of their identity, while two-thirds (66%) said they’d be getting back to matches as part of a desire for things to get back to normal.

Supporters said that the matchday atmosphere was what they missed most (88%), followed by celebrating goals with friends and family (75%) and socialising with friends and family (39%).

Of those who will be returning straight away, just over a quarter (27%) said they would be attending more away games than in previous seasons before COVID-19.

Why some fans are delaying their return

Of the fans who said they would be delaying a return to grounds, just over two-fifths (44%) said that they wanted to see things being managed safely before they returned to grounds, while a similar proportion expressed a concern about returning to crowded spaces.

COVID measures

Much like we’ve seen with attitudes in the men’s game, supporters of women’s football are generally supportive of measures at grounds to limit the spread of COVID-19.

65% told us the availability of hand sanitizer would make them feel more comfortable at the match. Additionally, 58% of supporters said they’d feel more comfortable with social distancing in queues at the turnstiles, toilets and kiosks, while there was similar support for having to provide proof of a vaccine or a negative COVID test.


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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe