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International Women's Day

'FPL is a great way to bring more women into football'

8 Mar 2021
CC

Five female broadcasters and experts share their passion for the game and how it inspires women to get involved

Fantasy Premier League is more popular than ever, with over eight million managers playing worldwide, helped by a growth in female participants that is greater than that of men.

To celebrate International Women's Day, Fantasy expert Sam Bonfield spoke to FPL Show presenter Jules Breach, FPL Daily's Olivia Buzaglo and Anita Nneka Jones and the FPL Podcast's Kelly Somers about their passion for Fantasy Premier League and the growth of female managers playing it. 

"FPL is a great way to bring more girls into actually liking football but also playing the game as well," Breach says. "So, hopefully that will only continue to grow."

There are now more than 355,000 women with FPL teams so far in 2020/21, well over double the 165,000 female participants in the game back in 2015/16.

Indeed, the growth of female managers has exceeded that of the men. The number of women playing is up 95.3 per cent since 2016/17, compared with 67.4 per cent growth of male players.

Growth of female FPL players from 2015/16 to this season

"The growth of women in FPL is only natural within football as a whole," Jones says. "We are seeing female presence grow when it comes to commentators, pundits, journalists, so that spillover is natural."

Bonfield believes having women in the public eye, on the FPL Show, on podcasts, presenting at football matches is helping to break down barriers.

"It is inspiring to a lot of women out there," she says. "And a lot of women that will not necessarily have thought, 'Oh, I can get involved in this', but they look at other people doing it and think 'Well, why not? I'll give it a go.' "

Somers feels that FPL's popularity among women is also a result of the game not being visibly male-oriented. 

"When you look at an FPL team, you don't necessarily know if it's managed by a male or by a female," she says. "It's just an FPL team.

"It's a bit more gender neutral in that it's equally accessible to men and women."

Also in this series

Part 1: Massey-Ellis: We don't just tick boxes
Part 3: Sheff Utd stars on the women who inspire them
Part 4: Senior Saints offer advice to next generation of women
Part 5: Premier Skills giving female coaches the chance to shine

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