Northest wants greater TV coverage of ladies football

England's Laura Bassett jumps into the arms of Steph Houghton after England defeated Germany 1-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup third-place play-off. Picture: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP
England's Laura Bassett jumps into the arms of Steph Houghton after England defeated Germany 1-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup third-place play-off. Picture: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP
Moneyfields captain Steve Hutchings Picture: Neil Marshall

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PERRY NORTHEAST has called on the BBC to help drive the ladies’ game forward.

England’s third-placing in the Women’s World Cup has captured the nation’s hearts, rightly earning plenty of praise.

Imagine if Match of the Day had 15-20 minutes of female Premier League coverage at the end, just think what that would do for increasing awareness and boosting sponsorship

Perry Northeast

Now attention turns towards maintaining the increased interest in the ladies’ game.

For Pompey Ladies boss Northeast, a greater investment in existing coaching set-ups is the key.

A number of clubs across the country rely on the goodwill of talented coaches who work for nothing.

The fear is losing them from the game when their personal circumstances dictate.

Northeast believes the solution can be found by improving sponsorship revenue through more television focus.

And he has called on television companies to play their part and boost their broadcasting output.

He said: ‘We have a great coaching infrastructure and some fantastic coaches, but do not have the finances to be able to pay these people.

‘Some of the best in the area want to do it for Pompey – with no pay involved – but you can only keep hold of a certain amount of these people for so long.

‘It is not sustainable. We don’t keep these people for five to 10 years and that is a real shame.

‘They are passionate, great at their jobs, but on occasions have had to quit in order to focus on their full-time job or clubs can no longer pay their petrol expenses.

‘Brighton pay their coaching staff, as do Charlton, different teams with different financial levels. Pompey have always been the poor relations in the last couple of years.

‘Investment is needed and one of the ways that can be achieved is giving greater coverage of the game on television.

‘Imagine if Match of the Day had 15-20 minutes of female Premier League coverage at the end, just think what that would do for increasing awareness and boosting sponsorship.

‘At the moment there is only The Women’s Football Show, which is shown on BBC 3 once a month – and never before 10pm. There are also the occasional programmes on BT Sport and Sky.

‘But the BBC really needs to look at commissioning more ladies football because it would benefit the whole game.

‘The interest will be there for a period of time and we will get increased attendances, but that can only be maintained if it is kept on television so viewers can develop an affinity.’

Mark Sampson’s Lionesses were welcomed home to Heathrow yesterday morning following their impressive showing in the Canadian tournament.

Despite losing their opening group game to France, they went on to achieve the best World Cup finish by any England team since the men’s side won the competition in 1966.