1. What does football mean to you on a personal level?
Football to me is family, it is base, visceral emotion, and connection with others – mutual subscription to something bigger than yourself and indulging in all the intensity that brings – suspending the reality that is all a game.
2. Sum up some of the top line issues with modern football culture
Football exists as both a reflection and vehicle of broader society – its issues mirror those in modern British culture at large. The game has the ability to bring people together which we have seen lead to beautiful collaboration and creativity in the largely inclusive spaces of the women’s game. However, if we look at the mens game, we see some darker elements – as exemplified in the Euros – where racism and bigotry found a breeding ground. The challenge is to engage with these more challenging individuals and hold open conversations to enable them to grow
3. If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
The issues with the industry are complex and inextricable from wider society… As such I don’t think any one thing can affect whole system change but if I had the opportunity to alter one thing it would be widening diversity across the industry – from clubs, to senior leadership at board level. I also think more work needs to be done to address LGBT+ inclusion within the men’s game – which would hopefully trickle down to impact fan culture. Oh and Glazers out.
4. What is the future of woman’s football?
The future of women’s football is currently in the balance. With the Euros this summer and all the levels of investment in the WSL, we are at the beginning of a new chapter. Bigger stages, bigger audiences, and the opportunity to transform the grassroots game along with it. The job of those leading change is to ensure that we protect the culture of meaningful inclusivity that has organically developed alongside the game.
5. Can you give any advice to the younger generation on how to break into the industry
The limitations that you perceive either in yourself or the system around you are irrelevant. This is most likely because you underestimate your own abilities, but beyond that the industry is witnessing unrecognisable transformation. Keep hammering down barriers.