C&H partners MooreThanJustAPodcast spoke to West Ham Ladies Chairman Stephen Hunt ahead of their game against Spurs Ladies at the Boleyn Ground this evening.
Stephen tells how the game at the Boleyn Ground came about, how they have already tripled their record home attendance for a West Ham Ladies match and their ambitions for the future.
West Ham Ladies at 8th in the league on 14 points after 17 games.
Stephen told the West Ham podcast “The funding is very tight in women’s football, it doesn’t take a lot of money to get you in a successful franchise situation. My focus has been balancing the back ground of the club so we can push on to super league. Without the money you can’t really build anything, players can nicked far more easily than the men’s side because contracts are generally much shorter so we lost one of our best players who went on to join the reserves of another team because they paid more money so there’s still the financial issue so you can’t really be a player (in women’s football) until you get the finances sorted. “
“I have been looking at that so we can look at Super league, the other factor is some of the lads have expressed an interest backing the Ladies so that’s something that has been going on throughout the season and there is a bit more about that in the programme. I am trying to put the club in a position where we are stable enough to have investment put into it and become a vehicle to build. We are very much looking at the long term and the long term is Super league obviously”
“At this sort of level it is not profitable for the main club to invest in it yet but it will be so the money as the attendance grows, we have tried to build a strategy of meeting the club half way, if we can build a solid back bone, good support and regular attendance and become a viable club on our own two feet then it something an investor an outside person such as myself or the main club could invest in. The most expensive players are on £60,000 per year and they are mainly England players and most of that is paid for by the FA so the economics are different”
“The simple thing is, the fans that attend that money goes straight into the running of the club and the difference between paying no wage and a small wage is huge at our level because players will cross the road for a few thousand pounds per year. It’s very small beer compared to the big stuff but equally it means the fans can have pretty good control over a Ladies club, they can influence things in a great way because the numbers are much smaller.”
West Ham Ladies play Spurs Ladies tonight at the Boleyn Ground with a kick off of 7.45pm
Tickets on the door are £5 for adults and £1 for under 16’s.