Scottish Women's Football wants World Cup funds to end talent drain

Abbi Grant (centre) in action for Glasgow City
Abbi Grant has moved to Birmingham City after joining Anderlecht from Glasgow City in January

The proceeds from the World Cup must be invested in the domestic game to stem the drain of talent, says the chief executive of Scottish Women's Football.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell previously insisted that all funds raised from the finals would be reinvested in women's football.

But Fiona McIntyre does not yet know how much will go to the Scottish Women's Premier League and its clubs.

"To apply the status quo would be a travesty," she told BBC Scotland.

"We've just had the World Cup, there's been a lot of increased interest, and the challenge is to harness that into a more meaningful long-term relationship.

"We're at this crossroads where interest has peaked and, to take it forward, we need to invest in our infrastructure that allows us to support our clubs a bit more."

Only seven of Shelley Kerr's 23-strong Scotland squad at the finals in France still play their football in their homeland.

However, the vast majority of the squad started their careers with Scottish clubs before moving to England or abroad.

Increasingly, they are doing that at a younger age and McIntyre is keen to "reverse that movement".

"To do that, we need to have a product that's attractive to them through the financial return they can get but also the resources they can get at their club," she said.

Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts and Rangers, along with Scottish champions Glasgow City, have made announcements about investing more in their women's teams.

And McIntyre "would anticipate that some" of the World Cup proceeds would filter down and is keen to have discussions with Maxwell about that distribution.

However, she recognises that more needs to be done to attract crowds to SWPL games if it is to develop.

"That's the big challenge," she said. "We have big clubs and competitive fixtures. We've worked hard with clubs to try and make that spectator experience better.

"We need to market our game and, if we can get our big clubs promoting the women's game as part of the overall club, I think that will make a big difference."

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