Feb 18 • 1M

Bid to boost SWPL crowds by avoiding fixture clashes - Fiona McIntyre

Move to SPFL could see a move to avoid women's football clashing with male counterparts

Jenna Thomson
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Football authorities could put an end to fixture clashes between women’s and men’s football, says the head of girls’ and women’s football Fiona McIntyre.

And McIntyre says they want more games played in big stadiums such as Ibrox and Celtic Park to encourage fans along.

One thing McIntyre is keen to avoid is the likes of last Sunday’s Celtic v Rangers Scottish Women’s Cup tie being played in front of a sparse crowd due in part to clashing with Scottish Premiership games.

“I personally think this is something that we should be looking at,” said McIntyre.

“There are a number of factors that would be involved in adjusting fixtures.

“Firstly, you have the SPFL fixtures come out that are subject to change sometimes late in the day due to television broadcasts and then the same happens in the SWPL. I think this provides us an opportunity as the SPFL have advanced sophisticated software which allows you to factor in several parameters.

“How do we provide the best opportunities for supporters to come along and support whatever version of their club they want to watch?

“What I would say however is that the footballing calendar is incredibly tight now. It is incredibly difficult to find dates for games so there may be instances where clashes happen, but we will proactively work to minimise the number of times that will happen as a key part of our strategy is to get as many supporters along as possible.”

From next season, Scottish women’s football’s top 17 clubs will leave the SWPL to join the SPFL, with a promise of more decision-making powers, better revenue streams, and access to commercial and broadcast resources.

And McIntyre revealed if clubs are unhappy with the changes to women’s football will have the option to withdraw in future.

She said: “There is the participation agreement between the clubs and the league organisation that is running the league and there will be a notice period within that.

“I don’t know the specific timeframe, but I would speculate it would around two to three years so if the clubs were unhappy at any time, they can give their notice and depart from the league.”

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