What gave you the inspiration to start the website?
I’m a Leicester fan, so (a couple of years ago now…) I went home to take pictures of Leicester’s title winning season. It was all I could think about, and I’d spend every hour reading about the likeliness of Leicester actually being able to win, but there was nothing visual that was depicting the fans, and my memories of going to Leicester games when I was younger.
I’d never really touched a camera before, but I went and took some photos of a few of the matches, just to have a memory for myself. I quite liked the way they came out, so got practising a bit more. Then Laura and I were in the pub watching the Euros and she said we should do the same thing, but about female football fans. So yeah, we headed down to Arsenal for the first game of the 2016/2017 season, and TFG began!
Who has been the most memorable fan you have met during the project?
There was one lady we met in Manchester. She was so excited about what we were doing, she took photos of us. We got chatting to her a bit and talking about her love for United. She said a couple of years ago, she moved with her entire family to Australia – but they missed the theatre of dreams so much they moved back six months later. But we’ve met some incredible women along the way – at every club.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about female fans?
I think a lot of people thought there was a ‘type’. There isn’t. We’ve met women who from all corners of the UK, different ages, backgrounds, races. It’s really nice to see how they support their club in their own ways…. whether that’s going to games in full glam, screaming from the rafters or getting involved with their clubs in a more fan-led way.
What more do you think clubs could be doing to attract female supporters?
Talk about them, and to them! Female fans are there week in week out at every club in the country – the issue is they’re still so poorly represented. We follow about 400 football related Instagram accounts – about 5 of them talk about women.
There is, understandably, a huge gender imbalance in football – including women in every aspect of football, from women on the boards of the clubs, to taking the match photos provides such an important message that women can and should be there.
Which club would you say is the best example of one doing it well?
We’re actually really impressed with Manchester City and there approach to including the women’s team in there social media presence. That’s huge for representation, and a really big step for the club and for women’s football in general – it’s very cool to see them taking it seriously.
How will TFG evolve for 2018-2019?
Content is still going to be king for us, so expect more clubs all over the UK (and hopefully across the world) more photo series and more interviews. We’re really focused this year on talking to female fans and understanding their experiences, rather than just a still image, and growing the community – so having meet ups where we can watch the football together and chat offline. We’ve also set up a fan group on Facebook, so that’s super cool for having a forum style chat.
Anything else coming up? For the World Cup?
Still waiting for the BBC to offer us an all expenses trip to Russia….
We have a bunch of exciting things coming up before the end of the year though – we’re working with a female football player about her life and her other career, so hopefully releasing that before the end of the season. Then following up from our Palace video, we’re working on Episode 2 as we speak…