West Ham Women Expert: Hammers expected to play some games at London Stadium after new WSL deal
We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women’s expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…
West Ham are expected to play some matches at the London Stadium if they can avoid relegation and benefit from the WSL’s new broadcasting deal, according to Michelle Irons.
On Monday, BBC Sport confirmed a three-year broadcasting deal between them, Sky Sports and the WSL was agreed which is worth between £7million and £8million each season.
BBC Sport will air 22 live matches in the 2021/22 season and Sky Sports will broadcast up to 44 matches across their channels. FA Player will show any remaining fixtures that are not picked by the BBC or Sky.
West Ham Zone’s women’s football expert Michelle Irons has shared her insight on the new deal, claiming that it will have a huge impact on all levels of the game.
“This new deal for the WSL is absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“I’m delighted that the girls will now have a better platform to grow the sport in the UK and potentially all become paid professionals. There are some that play in the lower tiers that still have to work part-time.
“From a financial perspective, it will allow the development and promotion to go to another level and really take off.”
Michelle Irons also expects to see the Women’s team make more use of the London Stadium if they are able to avoid relegation from the WSL this season.
Bristol City’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Sunday saw them creep above the Hammers in the league standings although Olli Harder’s team does have two matches in hand on their relegation rivals.
If the Hammers do manage to preserve their WSL status, they might not be playing as many games as their current home at Dagenham’s Victoria Road.
Michelle Irons added: “I’ll be expecting West Ham to schedule games at the London Stadium in response to this. The money injection and the exposure will help the WSL really become the best league in the world and attract top internationals.
“With West Ham being bottom of the table again, the news of the broadcasting deal should give us a boost and I want to see us fighting to stay in the league and be part of this as we have a developing academy and should be looking to grow that.
“We have some really talented players and I’m sure they will want to be part of the new adventure so it’s crucial we stay in this league.
“Special mention to Gilly Flaherty our captain as she’s been around since the first launch in 2011 and still going strong.”
Just under 25,000 people watched West Ham lose to Tottenham at the London Stadium in September 2019. That was then the second-highest attendance in WSL history.
In other West Ham Women news, Michelle Irons has reacted to Emily Ramsey’s arrival on loan from Manchester United.