National Football Museum highlights stellar growth from 2022-23

18 May 2023


The National Football Museum has published their performance statistics for the 2022-23 period.

The museum welcomed 190,654 visitors between 2022 and 2023: an 11% increase on their previous pre-COVID 19 figures. The museum’s footfall also held a truly global representation in this period, with 35% of their visitors being from overseas.

During that timeframe, the museum has also seen a 37% increase in school and educational visits. There has been an increased focus on this aspect with increase amount of community sessions and school sessions taking place at the museum.

National Football Museum CEO Tim Desmond said: “These figures pay testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone at the National Football Museum. Our ‘visitor-first’ approach has delivered an innovative and inclusive programme of exhibitions and events, alongside a world-class visitor experience and welcome from our team."

"We are also thankful for the support of Manchester City Council and Arts Council England who play a vital role in the museum’s ongoing development, enabling us to engage more people and communities in football and creativity.”

The museum showcased a total of nine special exhibitions, including three blockbuster exhibitions:

Lucy Bronze at Naitonal Football Museum

Crossing the Line: The story of women’s football part 1 & 2

Coinciding with the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament, Crossing the Line: the story of women’s football, chronicled the game’s early growth, the effects of the FA’s de facto 1921 ban, its survival and its resurgence in recent decades.

The exhibition was split into two halves. The first half telling the story of the women’s game up until the ban, and the second half focusing on the present state of play within women’s football, featuring some highly prized items from the Lionesses Euro 2022-winning campaign.

from moss side to marseille art of the game

From Moss Side to Marseille: The art of Michel Browne and Eric Cantona

Commissioned by Eric Cantona and executed by Mancunian artist Browne in his distinctive figurative style, the collection, which launched in January and is running until June 18th is influenced by their sporting heroes who used their positions to advocate for social change, despite great personal cost.

The exhibition launch involved both Cantona and Browne attending the museum for it’s opening day, and the exhibition subsequently received widespread coverage, totalling a global viewership of an estimated 3.4 million.

From a general standpoint digitally, the museum grew their reach by 63% across website and personal social channels throughout the 2022-2023 period, including Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

In terms of object acquisition, between 2022 and 2023 the museum added 669 new objects into their ever-growing Football Heritage Collection, preserving important items and their stories for generations to come

There has also been a 40% increase in trading company income to help support the work of the museum, which is a registered charity. All profits are reinvested into the museum and its programmes to enable more visitors, schools and communities to benefit from its activities.

The museum’s 22/23 performance tops a successful year, with the museum achieving National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status from Arts Council England. Through the new Football Creates initiative, the museum will deliver a three-year creative programme to improve inclusion and wellbeing through the power and universal appeal of football.

This May, the National Football Museum announced they are one of the first museums in the country to receive an official Carbon Literacy Organisation (CLO) accreditation standard.

Awarded by the Carbon Literacy Trust, the CLO accreditation supports the development, recruitment and retention of a Carbon Literate workforce, and requires an organisation to engage positively with its audiences and communities in developing and delivering low carbon behaviour.