THE victory of England’s Lionesses in the Euro 2022 final on Sunday has prompted fresh calls for greater investment in Scottish women’s football.

Prevailing over Germany 2-1, the game was England’s first major women’s tournament win, and attracted a peak TV audience of 17.4 million.

Following the victory, former England women’s captain Faye White noted that, along with changing perceptions, “investment in the game has got us here”. This has now been echoed by Scottish advocates of women’s football hoping to emulate the England team’s success.

SNP MP Hannah Bardell, who served as the party’s spokesperson for sport until 2019, told the National that the Lionesses’ victory “should be an eye-opener for the Scottish Football Association.” 

Bardell commented: “We’ve seen in England that where there is investment, there is growth. The SFA should be doing all it can financially to retain talent within women’s football in Scotland - otherwise we risk losing fantastic players to other leagues elsewhere in the UK and the world.

“Scotland leads the world in so many ways, particularly when it comes to equality and diversity. It’s time for that to filter through into Scottish football."

Bardell added that while the Scottish Government has provided funding to allow players in the women’s national squad who are currently not professionals to train full-time, “we need the SFA to step up too.”

Bardell said: “Women’s football in Scotland has come a long way, and I’m really pleased to see that, but it can go further faster if the SFA invested more into it.”

Calls for further investment were also made by Scottish Women’s Football CEO Aileen Campbell, who congratulated the Lionesses for “an unbelievable achievement” yet noted that England’s triumph at the Euros “hasn’t happened by accident.”

Campbell said: “The English FA have invested heavily and allowed women to lead. It’s now time for the SFA to follow England’s lead. 

“I look forward to working with the SFA and SPFL to make sure women off the pitch are the architects of change that will enable ever-increasing future successes on it."

A spokesperson for Scottish Women in Sport added that Lionesses’ win and the coverage and exposure surrounding should have a positive impact on all aspects of football, telling the National: “Scotland has a great opportunity to capitalise on this with the recent change to the structure of the women’s leagues. This should attract more commercial investment into the elite side and free up resources elsewhere to ensure that the recreational side of the game continues to grow and flourish.  

“The structure of the game in Scotland falls over several organisations and it is imperative that they all work together to ensure that we increase the numbers of players, open up opportunities for all as well as encouraging more young women to take up refereeing. 

“Women’s football has been under-resourced for many years. However, the marketing of the Euros clearly showed that women’s football can attract huge crowds, and particularly a family audience and Scotland have to exploit this to their advantage by offering an appealing experience to their supporters.”