The Women’s Super League recently announced a groundbreaking television deal worth up to £8m a season - and Chelcee Grimes believes it could be a huge moment for female football.
The WSL has been growing steadily since its launch in 2011, aided by ever increasing interest in the women’s game. From next season, the BBC will broadcast 22 matches and Sky Sports will provide coverage of up to 44 fixtures, in a deal that will plough further money into the WSL.
Grimes has represented Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham, Fulham and Tranmere during her playing career, which she’s combined with a life in music as a singer-songwriter, writing for stars like Dua Lipa and Kylie Minogue.
The 28-year-old has welcomed the new WSL deal, and believes it will have huge benefit for female footballers and people involved in the sport. “I think it’s incredible, and it’s got the power to really change lives,” she said of the agreement.
“For me, the experience of seeing the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France made an absolutely huge difference. I went out there, and I never thought I’d be alive to see 45,000 people all cheering a women’s game. It broke records, it did brilliantly on TV, and after that I thought ‘This has got to happen now, we’ve got to stick with it and stay behind it’.
“It’s been brilliant to see girls I played with stick it out and go on to do amazing things. I’m a massive fan of the women’s game, and seeing it progressing and get TV deals is really encouraging. I say onwards and upwards, and I think it will keep going.
“People want to watch the women’s game and that’s great to see. I don’t think we should put a limit on it. I’ve got a 12-year-old sister and I’ve got high hopes for her, so hopefully it keeps going in that direction.”
Grimes has also worked as a TV presenter, and has recently been presenting a three-part series in partnership with Samsung KX, supporting young people as they embark upon their own careers. “It’s all about getting the perfect CV - I learned so much!” she explains.
“There was Ash Jones, who is a career guru, and he had so much great advice. Then there was Ashley Verse, an amazing celebrity photographer, who taught me how to take the perfect picture on the latest Samsung phone.
"I’m quite bubbly in flesh, but the question was, how do you put that on a CV? So they show you how to do it. People can go online and it will help them to get the job they want.”
The series, entitled Powerful Personal Branding, is available to view via the Samsung KX website at samsung.com/uk/explore/kings-cross/discover (opens in new tab)
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Nick Moore is a freelance journalist based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He wrote his first FourFourTwo feature in 2001 about Gerard Houllier's cup-treble-winning Liverpool side, and has continued to ink his witty words for the mag ever since. Nick has produced FFT's 'Ask A Silly Question' interview for 16 years, once getting Peter Crouch to confess that he dreams about being a dwarf.
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