We have seen again here at this World Cup in Australia and New Zealand that a global audience is willing to pay to watch women’s football, to attend the games and invest in this sport. It is now time for us to build on the success of this tournament and position our teams to succeed commercially, not just competitively. That means equal access to club stadiums for women’s sides.

This is not a debate about equal pay, it is about equal opportunities. And the next step for the women’s game is for clubs to have equality of access to facilities. They are not ‘men’s’ stadiums, they are ‘club’ stadiums – we women have as much right to play in those stadiums as the men do. And the potential benefits are vast, for everybody.

The legacy of England’s home European Championship win last year was making sure that we strengthened access at the grass-roots level but also an unbelievable rise in attendances, more than doubling the average Women’s Super League crowds in a single season. And that rise was sustained throughout the season.

The legacy of a World Cup final on the professional game will be unprecedented commercial investment. But most importantly, we now need a call to action, so that club stadiums become readily available for both men’s and women’s teams.

Several clubs in the WSL have announced this summer that they will be playing extra games in these stadia next season but there is still a huge way to go across the top flight. We have to ask, ‘Why are these barriers here?’ The system has created the narrative that these stadiums are purely for the men’s teams because there has not been enough investment into women’s football over the years.

It is not just about the capacities of the grounds or the prestige of the venues; it is also about the principle that, if you want to sell the game and for people to report on the game, you have to have everything from club suites to good press facilities to the ability – pre, during and after matches – to sell future games. Plus, you want to create fan experiences that are accessible, and diverse, for supporters to enjoy every aspect of match day.

The television money and everything associated with this World Cup seems to be at record levels and I think the WSL, as leaders, globally, for a domestic league, should set an altogether new standard.

It is critical that we challenge the status quo. Why have we been prevented from playing football in the same stadia that our men’s teams have? And if that stops, I am certain that you will see an unprecedented level of investment for commercial sponsorship for clubs this year. We will enter a new era of women’s teams becoming sustainable, especially at the top, top level with the top, top clubs.

If the WSL wants to capitalise on the growth of the game, it is also vital that the NewCo, which will take over the running of the league, sorts out the governance very, very quickly. Discussions have been ongoing for a while between clubs, the Football Association and former Nike director Nikki Doucet, whom the FA have brought in as a consultant on the future of the league, about the new company – and its governance is needed.

The league’s new leader, currently set to be Nikki, needs to be put in place very quickly, so that we can get the ball rolling for the next evolution of the WSL – this time next year it should be under new management, outside of the FA.

I would also like to see the recommendations made by Karen Carney in her review being put into action. In particular, her call for more support for the Championship being professionalised, so that we can develop the next tier beyond our league. Bringing in basic minimum standards across the game also needs to happen fast.

On the pitch the WSL is a world-class product. If you look across the four teams that were involved in the semi-finals of this World Cup, the vast majority of players had come from the WSL or were developed in the WSL at some point in their careers, and most of the rest have played in Spain’s league.

More than a third of the Sweden squad that finished third play their club football in the WSL, while 10 of the Australia squad play in the WSL and a further five have done so previously. England’s squad has the WSL at its core. Similarly, you saw two semi-finalists from England in the Women’s Champions League last season, alongside one German team and one Spanish team. I think the WSL will become the envy of the world.