Man City vs Man Utd: WSL boss would back permanent move to Etihad for women’s side

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor discussed the possibly of a permanent move to the Etihad after the club sold over 40,00 tickets for Sunday’s Manchester derby in the WSL.

Manchester City Women boss Gareth Taylor says a pemanent move to the Etihad Stadium for his side would be a step in the right direction for the women’s game.

The 49-year-old boss will lead his side out at the 53,400 capacity stadium this weekend against rivals Manchester United looking to make it ten consecutive wins for City.

Ticket sales for this Sunday’s fixture between the Manchester rivals have moved beyond the 40,000 mark this week, with the Etihad becoming the latest Premier League stadium to host a women’s top tier fixture.

And with WSL attendances sky rocketing since England Lionesses’ Euro 2022 summer success, there has been reports some clubs could make the switch to their men’s stadium a permanent one.

“I think it would be a good thing - it would be a groundstaff’s nightmare, but it would be a good thing for clubs to commit to that” said Taylor.

“Leicester do it, Reading do it. They manage to work it out somehow, but obviously like we’ve said before - there’s demands on players, there’s demands on stadiums now, so it’s pretty full on and we understand the logistical issues that come with it.

“For us, it’s about sticking with what we know - if that changes anytime soon, then so be it. If we play there every week, would we see the same big crowds we are seeing for these games? I’m not too sure, but with the way the game is going and progressing and, with the success stories more recently, then it is something to look at”.

And in form midfielder Laura Coombs echoed the thoughts of her boss, adding it is a “dream” to be playing in front of huge crowds week in, week out.

“I’m so proud. It is something you grow up dreaming about, going to play in front of thousands of fans in a stadum. I’m so proud we are upping the attendance so much from 2019 (when the side last played there).

“It is going in the right direction and hopefully everyone can see it is going in the right direction as well”.

Taylor also passed star forward Lauren Hemp as fit for the derby clash, with the City head coach admitting she is fit to start the game. Kick off is scheduled for 12:30pm, with coverage of the game live on BBC and BBC iPlayer from 12.15pm.