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Published 21 December 2022 4 min read
Grassroots Football

2022 – a historic year for the women's and girls' game in England

Written by:

FA Communications

A look back at the growth and success of the women's game over the last 12 months
Hosting the biggest-ever UEFA Women’s EUROs on home soil, an unbeaten year for the England senior women’s team, becoming European Champions, record-breaking Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship attendances, more fans watching from home and greater opportunities to play, coach, officiate and volunteer than ever before.

2022 has been a year like no other for the women’s and girls’ game and the FA has released a series of numbers to reflect its unprecedented growth.

England senior women’s team:

• Winners of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, the team’s first ever major trophy
• Winners of the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup
• An unbeaten and record-breaking 2022 with 16 wins, 4 draws and 72 goals
• Awareness of England senior women’s team is up 32% since June 2022 in girls aged 5-16 in England

A record-breaking UEFA Women’s EURO:

• Eight attendance records broken
• 574,875 total tournament attendance, double EURO 2017
• 87,192 at the Final, a EURO (women’s and men’s) competition record
• A peak TV audience of 17.4m on BBC watching the EURO Final and 5.9 million iPlayer and BBC Sport website streams
• 365 million global viewership (double previous tournament) across 195 territories
• £81 million economic boost across nine host cities
The Biggest Ever Football Event took place across England as part of the Let Girls Play programme
The Biggest Ever Football Event took place across England as part of the Let Girls Play programme
A UEFA Women’s EURO with a long-lasting legacy:

• Over 416,000 new opportunities to play, coach, officiate and volunteer created in England across schools, clubs, and the community across the nine host cities
• More than half of local residents and two in five spectators and tournament volunteers inspired to do more sport and physical activity generally, as a result of the tournament
• 3,500 schools engaged in the tournament
• Over 2,300 volunteers recruited and trained as part of the tournament
• 7,800 girls and women newly registered and playing in clubs across the nine host cities
• Over 16,000 girls and women playing recreationally across the nine host cities

Domestic Game:

• Barclays Women’s Super League attendance up 227% on last season
• Barclays Women’s Championship attendance up 86% on last season
• Almost 348,000 fans have passed through the turnstiles in the Barclays Women’s Super League in the first half of the 2022-23 season. And nearly 59,000 in the Barclays Women’s Championship
• Both League attendance records broken (47,367 at Arsenal and 11,137 at Sheffield United) and half of all Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship clubs have broken an individual club and/or stadium record so far this season
• Record Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final attendance of 49,094 in May
• Sky Sports’ highest match peak of this season is 495,000 viewers for Liverpool v Everton in September
The FA Player saw record numbers with Arsenal’s win over Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening day of the season streamed live by 23,366 fans
• Barclays Women’s Super League is now the most followed women’s professional football league in the world with over 1.55m followers across social channels


• 5% increase in female affiliated clubs from June 2022 – December 2022
• 9% increase in female registered football teams from June 2022 – December 2022
• 12.5% increase in female players registered from September 2022 – December 2022
• 15% increase in female youth teams from June 2022 – December 2022
• Interest in women’s football is up 12% amongst girls aged 5-16 in England • A 196% increase in women’s and girls’ football session bookings through the England Football ‘FindFootball’ tool
• 150,000 girls now registered to take part in next year’s Let Girls Play ‘Biggest Ever Football Session’ on International Women’s Day (8 March) supporting the Barclays Girls’ Football School Partnerships by England Football and the ambition for girls to have equal access
The Lionesses have inspired the nation in 2022
The Lionesses have inspired the nation in 2022

• 21% increase in female registered referees across all levels since October 2021


• Number of female coaches working in affiliated female teams is up 75% compared to the same point last year
• More than double the number of FA Community Champions who identify and support new female coaches

Commercial Growth:

• 4 new commercial partners in the women’s and girls’ game
• A total of 25 commercial partners supporting the women’s and girls’ game
*These figures have been calculated using The FA’s participation tracker rather than a measure of participants that live solely within The FA eco-system.

Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s Director of Women’s Football reflected: "2022 is a year that will live long in the memory for everyone involved in the women’s game, and is the result of years of hard work by so many.

"When the Lionesses lifted the EURO trophy at Wembley Stadium on 31 July in front of a record 87,000 fans, they not only made history and created an outpouring of joy that I’ve never seen before, but they also created an opportunity to transform the future of the game. We are all determined to capitalise on that opportunity and ensure that the legacy of the tournament isn’t just a trophy but that every girl has the opportunity to play football.

"What we’ve seen in 2022 is more women and girls stepping forward to play, coach, referee, volunteer, more fans filling our stadiums and new commercial partners all wanting to be part of this great movement for change. There’s no doubt there is more work to be done however we can reflect on this year with a huge amount of pride.”
Mark Bullingham, the FA’s chief executive said: “The Lionesses’ success has left an indelible and enduring mark on women’s football in England and we’re so proud of what they achieved in 2022. They continue to be such outstanding ambassadors on and off the field and it remains very clear they have captured the hearts of the nation. I’d like to again thank Sarina, the players and her support team and congratulate them on their historic achievements.

“But there’s so much more to 2022 than events on 31 July and I would like to express my gratitude to every FA colleague, every player, coach, official, administrator, volunteer and commercial partner who has played their part in a year that will forever change the future of the women’s and girls’ game. Because of their energy and endeavour, the foundations are in place to continue to break boundaries and take the game to a new level.

“We can collectively look ahead with a great deal of excitement for 2023.”

There is more detail on the progress made at the halfway point of The FA’s ‘Inspiring Positive Change’ 2020-2024 strategy here.