Some takeaways in no order, from the Euros -

Maggie Murphy
4 min readAug 15, 2022


1. Women’s football is joyfully inclusive (protect at all costs). For many decades, women’s football has welcomed the misfits, the tomboys, the queer, the challengers, the people who wouldn’t take no for an answer and anyone marginalised by the mainstream. If women’s football is to become the mainstream, then this culture will come under threat. It’s important those entering into the space (brands, careerists, fans) seek to understand its unique nature and don’t squeeze it into what they understand to be football.

2. Brands! Welcome! Invest in women, listen to women, be guided by women! As per previous post, don’t make avoidable silly mistakes.

3. Brands! Do you know what your agencies are doing? Pass on the wealth. In recent weeks I’ve been approached by different middlemen agencies for the same global corporation asking me to give something, do something, provide access to something in return for “great media visibility”. That’s just not fair. You as a brand may think you are investing, but the middlemen may not be passing it on.

4. Brands. There are more teams than the WSL. Be part of the story. Don’t wait for success. Build success. Women’s football has barely had a penny to rub together. We know how to make the most of every cent. Your money will not go wasted. Find a club with potential and invest ( etc etc!).

5. Fans. There are more teams than the WSL. Just saying. 60% of the WSL teams are in just three cities so explore broader and wider (Lewes is 1 hour 6 mins from London Victoria. We’re probably easier to get to than your WSL club!).

6. Media. There are more teams than the WSL. There is a rich tapestry of teams whose stories are unique and diverse and fascinating! You can be a gamechanger in covering, highlighting, promoting and amplifying those teams to protect and preserve the uniqueness of women’s football. Check out the likes of Durham, Coventry, London City and share their stories, because they are unique and special and different. See it as an opportunity, not a challenge.

7. FA. There are more teams than the WSL. May we see better marketing and promotion of the Championship and National League, and their uniqueness. Less focus on recreating and fostering “derbies” based on men’s football. Trickle down effect hasn’t worked so far.

8. Everyone — the WSL is also great and great value — get to a game! I’m not being negative about the WSL. The teams are excellent and have invested for a long time to be where they are. And they need you to get to the game.

9. Women’s football is not just “elite” or “grassroots”. Lots of people I speak to, including sponsors and fans and families, think that women’s football is either “elite” or “grassroots”. The talent pipeline between the two is the lifeblood of the football pyramid we so want and need to protect and that makes us unique from say the US leagues. Don’t think bipartite. Think in a spectrum.

10. The women’s football space I’ve spent the last weeks in has been more gloriously representative of our nation than many other spaces. Young, old, male, female, black, brown, white, caps, trainers, heels, bucket hats and headscarves, rainbow flags, face paint and tattoos. Why would you not want to be part of it for the longer term?

11. Family atmosphere is not naff. Often “family atmosphere” is code for “less meaningful” in football circles. But crowds, have been anxious, passionate, invested, full-throttle and classically expecting England to throw it all away. No toxicity. No need to worry about knocking the wrong person or figuring out whether you’re safe enough to challenge casual homophobia or sexism.

12. Women’s football has a unique collaborative culture (long may it last). It’s a culture established on the back of decades of grinding to make things happen and needing help to get sh*t done when the powers that be close doors instead of open them. Talk to the press pack who have sweated for years to make a penny from their passion, and you’ll hear how they share contacts, quotes and even lifts to games. Grassroots organisations, club reps, players and more ask for help or advice on a regular basis. And all without formalised organisation, without an annual forum, without an app, without a CPD credit.

13. The parties have been fun. Because of aforementioned lack of toxicity and joyous diversity. (Special shout out to Studs for being part of organising and building this celebratory community)

Studs are fab

14. Emotional investment is key. The rush I got from watching England at a sell-out Wembley was very similar to that from watching Lewes beat Liverpool in a sell-out Dripping Pan last season. No really! Why? Because I was invested, yes. And I hope more fans become invested in their local clubs and replicate the same feelings. And also because in both cases, the huge crowds were hard fought, but an exciting flicker of what every game in the future could look like. (Note, I cried at the Dripping Pan, not at Wembley).

15. Legacy is not the FA’s job. It’s your job. Legacy is what each and every individual does to keep the good vibes going. This means first and foremost going to a game! Don’t treat women’s football as a theatre trip. Take part, invest yourself emotionally and as per above, you can feel the emotional roller coaster each week!



Maggie Murphy

Chief Executive Officer, Lewes FC. Director of Equal Playing Field. Formerly @anticorruption @minorityrights @amnesty