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The Secrets Of Women's Football

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

Back in 1921 women's football was banned for 50 years on the grounds that it was unsuitable for females but it changed towards the end of the 1960's when the Women's FA was formed in 1969.

The women's game is growing more, there are now over one thousand, two hundred and seventy million registered female players across the world and the number of professionals and semi pro female players increased from one thousand, three hundred and three in 2012 to over three thousand in 2018. There are over two hundred and fifty million male professional footballers in the world and there are only thirty million one hundred forty five thousand and seven hundred female players and 58% of them had considered quitting for financial reasons.

Women's football doesn't get as much coverage as the men do, for example; around seven hundred and fifty million television viewers watched the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011, whereas a total of 3.45 billion people tuned into watch the men's football on their televisions.

In 2016/17 roughly 46% of professional women's football received media coverage on Facebook, 20% on YouTube, 27% on Twitter and Instagram and 43% on free to air television. Women's football in the UK is now supported by 4 major commercial sponsors, each with rights associated with a specific area of the game. BT Sport and Continental Tyres support the WSL, Vauxhall continues to support England Women and Nike is the exclusive kit sponsor.

An Arsenal player is reported to be the top earner in the Premier League, who earns three hundred and seventy five thousand a week and a Man United player is also earning three hundred and seventy thousand a week which is far more than the average WSL player earns in a year at just under twenty seven thousand pounds.

England captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker earns two hundred thousand a week while Manchester City Women's captain reportedly earns one thousand two hundred and fifty pounds a week on club wages alone.

The women's salaries' don't even come close to what the men earn, USWNT striker Alex Morgan appears to be the highest paid with a salary of three million five hundred twenty-five thousand three hundred and ten a year.

The players in the FA Women's Championship don't get paid as they are only part time but they do get their travel expenses paid. 905 of professional female players worldwide are considering ending their football careers early and 26% of Super League players clubs do not cover their football expenses, also 87% of Super League players don not have a retirement fund.

England Women's team also known as the Lionesses are more superior and they have qualified for the Women's World Cup 4 times, reached the quarterfinals on three occasions and finished 3rd in 2015. They came third in the 2017 Euros, finished 2n4 in the She Believes Cup in 2018 and won it in 2019 after beating Japan in the final game.

Another issue with women's football is that when they win the FA Women's Cup they will only win twenty five thousand which is less than 1% of what the men win in the FA Cup which is three million six hundred thousand.

There is one club that ahs already started to pay both male and female players the same wages and that is Lewes FC eventhough the womens team is in a higher league them the men, now why shouldn't other clubs follow them and pay all their players the same salary no matter what gender they are, they should all be treated equally. There are also 5 nations that have started paying both men and women footballers the same which are England, Brazil, Norway, Australia and New Zealand.

Women's football has been growing a lot more in the last few years and has just landed a big sponsorship deal from Barclays who will become the women's super leagues first ever title sponsor. The FAWSL will be renamed the Barclays FA Women's Super League and will include a prize money pot of £500,000 for the winning team in the league this season whereas previous winners have not been awarded any official prize money.

The WSL has been gaining a lot of attention from oversea players who have been wanting more game time and decided to come over to the England to play in one of the best leagues in the world. There have been some big signing for clubs such as Alex Morgan to Spurs, Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle to Manchester City Women, Tobin Heath and Christen Press to Manchester United Women and also Pernille Harder to Chelsea Women are all some of the best players in the world to come over here and play for our clubs, in the next few years the WSL will probably be the best league in the world and will gain more attention from the best players in the world.

Female Sports Commentators and Reporters

In the women's game there are many female journalists/pundits who mostly report on women's football matches and some even do interviews and commentary on the men's matches. Here is some information on a few of them.

Eilidh Barbour

Eilidh Barbour is a Scottish television presenter and reporter. She was part of the BBC presenter team for the the Women's World Cup, among others, the quater final between Germany and Sweden in 2019.

Eilidh was also the presenter for the first premier league game that was shown live on Amazon Prime. She regularly presents Football Focus, Match of the Day 2, FA Cup draws and highlights as well as the The Women's Football Show and is also the face of BBC's Golf Coverage.

Reshmin Chowdhury

Reshmin Chowdhury is a multilingual English sports journalist and broadcaster who works for BT Sport, TalkSport and BBC. She presents live Premier League football on TalkSport "Game Day" every Saturday morning and works across all football coverage, Champions League, Europa League, Women's Super League and FA Cup. Reshmin has also worked on multiple projects and broadcasts as a sports presenter for BBC News in the UK and BBC World, BBC News since 2010 in London. Her credits include: Match of the Day 2, 2018 World Cup, 2018 Wimbledon Championships, Women's Football Show, 2017 U-17 World Cup, FA Cup, Football Focus, 2016 Summer Paralympics, BBC Radio 5 Live and London 2012 Olympics.

Laura Woods

Laura Woods is a presenter who works for Sky Sports and TalkSport. She started working for Sky Sports in 2009 as a runner, working her way up to editorial assistant then into production as assistant producer, associate and producer. Then she started presenting by doing behind the scenes interviews on darts coverage for Sky Sports on their YouTube Channel. Laura then got a job on a Saturday morning kids show called 'Game Changes', from there she started reporting on the NFL and joined the Soccer AM online presenting team which included a trip to the 2016 Euros in France where she broadcasted live on Facebook everyday. By the time 2018 came around she was a regular pitch side reporter on Super Sunday occasionally reporting alongside Gary Neville. In March 2020 Laura was announced as the main presenter for TalkSports breakfast show through Mondays to Wednesdays.

Karen Carney

Karen Carney is a former professional footballer for Chelsea and England who retired in July 2019, she had 144 caps for England and captained both England and Chelsea Women. She is now a broadcaster that covers all the football on BBC and occasionally BT Sport providing expert analysis on various games from the studio. Karen was listed on the New Years honours list in 2017 to receive an MBE for her services to football, she has won medals with Arsenal, Birmingham and Chelsea. With England she won silver at the 2009 Euros and Bronze at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Hope Solo

Hope Solo is a former USWNT Goalkeeper from 2000-2016, she is a World Cup Champion and two time Olympic Gold Medallist. She is known as one of the best female goalkeepers in the world and she currently holds the U.S. record for most career clean sheets. Hope holds several U.S. goalkeeper records which are: 202 appearances, 190 starts, 153 win, 102 shutouts, 26 wins in season, 1,256 consecutive minutes played and the longest undefeated streak which is 55 games. She worked for the BBC as a pundit at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

There are so many more female pundits out there that are doing a great job promoting Women's Football and also working on men's games like Gabby Logan, Alex Scott etc, on Saturdays on Gillette Soccer Saturday: Live Scores which are Sue Smith, Bianca Westwood and more. On the Women's coverage you have got: Rachel Brown-Finnish, Alex Scott, Claire Rafferty, Laura Bassett, Claire Balding and a lot more working in football doing the job the love and showing young girls that they can do anything whether its playing football or doing commentary and reporting on the game.

While researching and comparing the different salaries between male and female players, I have found out that women footballers are earning less than half of what the men do and that is not right because the women have worked so hard to get to where they are now and they deserve to be treated the same as the men. Also female reporters should get treated equally instead of people saying that they shouldn't be working on sports shows or be a presenter on Sky Sports because they would be replacing a male presenter, All women who are working in Sports should be treated the same and not discrimated against for doing the jobs that they love doing e.g. Alex Scott was trolled on Twitter because she was in the running to replace a Sky Sports pundit, Alex is one of the best presenters in the sports world, knows exactly what she's talking about and can analyse any game. It's time we all started treating all women who work in the sports industry equally and not always making them feel like they shouldn't be doing what they like doing.

By Phillipa Kipling

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