Tracey Neville: England Netball still has funding ‘noose around neck’ despite gold
The Commonwealth gold won by England’s netballers will help the sport but funding remains a “noose around our neck”, head coach Tracey Neville says.
The Roses stunned favourites Australia to secure the greatest result in their history on Sunday with a 52-51 victory.
Asked if the achievement would transform the sport’s prospects in the UK, Neville said: “It’s just massive.”
English Netball is funded by Sport England with a combination of National Lottery cash and Government money.
Last February netball was awarded £13.9m for development and £3m for the national team.
But Neville, who called Sunday’s win the “highlight of her life”, said the sport is still under pressure from financial constraints.
“I can’t sit here and say that we haven’t got a noose around our neck about money and funding, but these are little steps to try and sustain the income in our sport,” she said.
“We saw the impact that London 2012 had on women’s sport, we saw the impact that Rio had on the hockey, obviously the World Cup with the cricket.
“And you know, women’s sport is getting bigger.”
Referring to her brother, former Manchester United player Phil Neville, who was appointed as head coach of the England women’s national football team in January, she added: “Obviously now there’s big names moving into women’s football, big head coach role.
“I think it’s just really pleasing to see.”
Neville said the UK netball Superleague, which starts a new season on Saturday, might also benefit from the national team’s achievement at the Games.
“I think Australia at the moment are tipping the market, with a lot of our girls playing out there,” she said.
“In respect to UK domestic competition, the clubs are working no end to try and make the game more professional. This gold may promote a little bit more of that hope going forward.”
UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl said the 2019 netball World Cup in Liverpool will give England another chance to shine.
“Their performances were outstanding and next year they have a World Championships which we’re supporting,” she said.
“They have a chance to have that same platform that they did so wonderfully well at on the Gold Coast at the weekend. They can replay that in front of a brilliant UK audience with great spectator support.
“Resources are critically important and I know they’re working very hard at working in partnership and franchising their super league to get more commercial income in.”