Record-breaking 2023-24 Barclays WSL season concludes

Chelsea win the the Barclays WSL title in 2024

The 2023-24 Barclays Women’s Super League season has been one for the history books, with records across the board being smashed time and time again over the course of the campaign.

A year which saw the league bid farewell to Emma Hayes after 12 years at the helm, Chelsea ensured that she left on a high by securing a fifth successive league title – and seventh overall – on the final day of the season, narrowly beating Manchester City to the summit of the table.

The title was settled on goal difference for only the second time in the league’s history, with the only other instance being in 2014 when Liverpool finished ahead of Chelsea.

Across the league as a whole, 55 per cent of games saw both teams score (73 out of 132 fixtures) – the most ever in a single campaign – and Aston Villa’s Jordan Nobbs maintained her record of being the only player to score in all 14 seasons of the Barclays Women’s Super League (including the Spring Series).

There were 437 goals scored in total in the 2023-24 WSL campaign. Of those efforts, 54 were scored from outside the box and 383 from inside the box, while of the 132 games, 49 were home wins, 59 were away wins and 24 games were drawn.

The most common time for a first goal to be scored meanwhile was the ninth minute of the game, with this happening on seven occasions.

The Barclays WSL also topped the charts for successful passes per game (722), passing accuracy (78.9%), touches in the opposition box per game (50.5) and possession won in the final third per game (14.8) in comparison to their counterparts in the USA (2023), Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

In terms of attendances, over one million people cumulatively attended a Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship fixture, with 971,977 in the topflight alone – a 41 per cent increase on 2022-23 (689,297).

The season average attendance for the division was 7,363 – again, 41 per cent up on last year (5,222), as Arsenal secured the league record attendance on three separate occasions over the course of the campaign, with their game against Manchester United currently leading the way (60,160).

The records weren’t just restricted to those attending games in person either, with television viewing figures across both of the league’s broadcast partners at an all-time high.

A peak audience of 997,000 on BBC One for Manchester United’s meeting with Manchester City at Etihad Stadium in March made the game the most watched Barclays Women’s Super League game ever.

Sky Sports meanwhile also achieved a record viewership figure for the league in March when Leicester City’s clash with Chelsea drew a peak audience of 823,000.

A campaign that will go down as one of the most exciting and memorable in the league’s history, Nikki Doucet, CEO of the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship, reflected on 2023-24 by saying: “This season has been one to remember for so many reasons.

“Seeing records broken time and time again over the course of the campaign – whether it be attendances, viewing figures or player and team on-pitch successes – is incredible, and shows how women’s football is growing at pace.

“Our ambition is to build the most distinctive, competitive, and entertaining women’s football club competition in the world, and this season has undoubtedly proven that we are making strides to achieve our goal of just that.

“Women’s football has never been bigger in this country, which has been down to the hard work of many people and our fantastic clubs and partners, but nothing would be possible without the fans who make the game what it is.

“Whether they have been a supporter of women’s football for years or only attended their first game this season, they are helping us to create history – we are only really at the beginning of our journey together.

“The Barclays Women’s Super League is a special place, and as we look towards the future, it is an incredibly bright one and we know that the records we have achieved this season will be broken time and time again in the years to come.”

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