By Doug Reed
A sold-out Wembley crowd of 90,000 and a BBC audience of over 23 million watched England lift the UEFA Women's Euro title last week. This reflects the growing interest in women’s football over recent years but becoming European Champions on home soil has instantly catapulted England’s stars into household names.
This is shown with growing social media followings such as captain Leah Williamson’s whose Instagram audience grew by over 200k during the championships to reach well over 600,000. They are also in demand for appearances on popular TV shows and at large public events.
Their raised profiles will result in more brands keen to have them as ambassadors and the amounts they can earn from such deals will have significantly risen. Many of the team were already working with major companies such as Nike, Pepsi and EE.
This success means England's players can now earn amounts which were unthinkable in the past. The change has been rapid with the domestic Women’s Super League only turning fully professional in 2018 and several of the England squad having juggled their football alongside other jobs just to make a living earlier in their careers.
Proceed with Caution
Increasing earnings for female players is vital and comes with a need to be careful of gaining the attention of individuals who offer help but don't intend to prioritise their interests. The wealth in the men's game has long attracted those that want to take advantage of players. Often the players only realise much later when it is very difficult, if not impossible, to rectify the damage done.
To avoid this issue players must thoroughly scrutinise and research anyone they are thinking of placing their trust in. This would include getting references from previous clients, interviewing them to find out if they are the right fit and getting second opinions on any advice they provide.
Even after this vetting process, players should not leave their advisors to manage their responsibilities unsupervised. Instead, they should oversee what they are doing on their behalf whilst receiving regular updates with any questions adequately answered. This may require time and effort but the risks of not doing so can be devastating.
With all the hard work and sacrifice the players have put in over many years to achieve this incredible feat, It would very sad if they weren't the ones that reaped the benefits from their success.