SWPL managing director Fiona McIntyre is determined to build on last season’s record campaign but knows “the second album is always the hardest”.
The former Scottish FA head of women’s football was named as the league’s first managing director last year, seeing it as an opportunity to try and radically transform the women’s game in Scotland.
The first season saw a thrilling finale where Glasgow City, Celtic and Rangers all went into the last day with a chance of becoming champions before City secured the title with a dramatic late goal.
Ahead of the new season, McIntyre spoke to Sky Sports News about the determination to keep growing the game in Scotland.
“A few people have said to me the second album is always the hardest and that’s pretty much what it feels like,” she said.
“The records we brought last year, a lot of firsts and that’s the challenge for us going forward.
“How do we get more people into grounds, more games on television and make sure that everyone’s talking about the SWPL?”
More than 100,000 fans attended women’s games in Scotland last season while the domestic record attendance for a single game was also broken on three occasions.
Just over 8,000 watched Hibernian host Hearts in the Edinburgh derby before Celtic Park hosted 9,553 fans for Celtic vs Glasgow City.
Celtic broke the record again on the final day of the season, with 15,822 turning out to watch their 2-0 win over Hearts.
There were also record club attendances for Hearts and Rangers while Montrose recorded the highest SWPL 2 attendance of the season for their trophy presentation at Links Park.
“We hope we get a similarly competitive competition league this year. That’s what we’re here to do, to try and make sure we deliver the best competitions that we can,” McIntyre added.
“We want to tell the stories about the players and the people behind the players and the coaches, that’s a big part for us.
“Making sure that people aren’t just talking about the SWPL at a cup final or on the final day of the season, making sure that we’re really visible throughout the season and that everyone’s talking about us.”
The opening weekend games
Here’s the first round of fixtures for the 2023/24 ScottishPower Women’s Premier League season (All fixtures subject to change):
Aberdeen vs Motherwell
Dundee United vs Partick Thistle
Glasgow City vs Hibernian
Hamilton Academical vs Hearts
Montrose vs Celtic
Spartans vs Rangers
Here’s the first round of fixtures for the 2023/24 ScottishPower Women’s Premier League 2 season (All fixtures subject to change):
Boroughmuir Thistle vs Glasgow Women
Gartcairn vs Queen’s Park
Livingston vs Kilmarnock
St Johnstone vs Stirling University
Key dates for the 2023/24 SWPL season
Start date – August 13
Winter break – December 18 to January 13
First post-split fixtures – March 17, 2024
Final round of matches – May 19, 2024
Play-off finals – May 23/24, 2024
Sky Sports Cup final – March 23 or 24, 2024
Scottish Premiership and SWPL on Sky Sports
Sky Sports – Next season up to 48 cinch Premiership games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, plus at least five SWPL matches. From 2024/25, up to 60 cinch Premiership will be live on Sky Sports, in addition to the SWPL.
Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Scottish football fans can enjoy Sky Sports News’ (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the cinch Premiership and SWPL throughout the season.
Sky Sports Digital – Follow all the latest from Scottish football across SkySports.com and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage, in-game clips from matches live on Sky Sports and free highlights.
Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, the bespoke Twitter channel @ScotlandSky will continue to be the home of all Scottish football content on Sky Sports.
Highlights show – Tune in for a dedicated round-up from the cinch Premiership every week on Sky Sports Football.
Sky Sports is the home of domestic football in the UK and Ireland, with more than 400 games per season across the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Women’s Premier League, Premier League, WSL, and EFL.