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‘Genuinely in love with the game’ football fan experiences and perceptions of women’s football in England

Williams, John; Pope, Stacey; Cleland, Jamie

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Authors

John Williams

Jamie Cleland



Abstract

Women’s sport, and perhaps especially women’s football, in England has enjoyed much greater media visibility and support over the past decade. But we still know relatively little about the response of fans of men’s football to the rise of the women’s game and their views on attending it. This paper highlights responses from 2,347 fans of the men’s game in Britain to BBC terrestrial coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup of 2015. It also investigates general views on women’s football, experiences of attending matches and the perceived barriers to match attendance. It argues that there remains residual resistance to the women’s game, but also increasing reflexivity about its performance and prospects. Concerns over the financial excesses of the men’s game and about the values expressed in its elite versions additionally contribute to more positive attitudes and expectations in our sample about the future of elite women’s football.

Citation

Williams, J., Pope, S., & Cleland, J. (2023). ‘Genuinely in love with the game’ football fan experiences and perceptions of women’s football in England. Sport in Society, 26(2), 285-301. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2021.2021509

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 4, 2022
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2023
Journal Sport in Society
Print ISSN 1743-0437
Electronic ISSN 1743-0445
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 285-301
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2021.2021509

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