Almost half of fans actively say they support the England women’s football team, including a majority of female fans
The women’s football World Cup kicks off on Thursday in Australia and New Zealand. The England side – the Lionesses – are the current European champions, although it will be a challenge to prevent the US team from winning their third successive trophy.
Women’s football has grown significantly in stature in recent years, with the prize money for this year’s tournament has risen from £30m to £110m. A recent YouGov survey found that one in six English people – including almost four in ten England football fans – will be following a great deal or fair amount of the women’s World Cup.
So with the spotlight on the Lionesses like never before, how much support do they hold from the wider England football fanbase?
Almost half of England fans say they support the women’s team (48%). This is a significantly higher proportion than for most Premier League clubs, with a separate YouGov study finding 28% saying so across all 20 clubs.
A further third of England fans have goodwill towards the women’s side, even if they are not active supporters: 34% say “I prefer if they win when they play, but I wouldn't say I support them”.
Only 15% of England fans express total indifference to the women’s team, saying “I don't care if they win or lose, and I wouldn't say I support them”.
Overall, 80% of England fans say they actively support the men’s team, with 17% being more casual fans who prefer that they win, but wouldn’t describe themselves as supporters.
Female England fans are more likely to say they actively support the Lionesses, at 57% compared to 44% of male fans.
How often do fans watch or follow the England men’s and women’s teams?
Overall, 42% of England fans say they watch the women’s team very often or fairly often when they play. This compares to 85% for the men’s team. One in five England fans say they never watch the Lionesses play (22%).
Male and female fans are equally likely to watch the Lionesses when they play.
When it comes to following news and scores about the England teams, the figures don’t increase much. An almost identical 85% say they follow the men’s team very or fairly closely, with 44% saying the same of the women’s team. Again, men and women are equally likely to keep up with the news about the women’s team.