This week I thought I would bring up the underlying issues of financial status across women’s football. I recently got commended for a tweet I put up after Reece Wabara (former Wigan Athletic footballer) complained regarding receiving no salary for a six-month period. Yet, his six-month frustration is what most female players encounter during their whole career.
Many players in the women’s game grew up playing at what would now be deemed as a professional level but without a salary. I am in no way slating Reece for his comments but I just took the opportunity to show females in football in a positive light.
Female players have huge commitments, balancing work life with football. Imagine male players in the Premier league having to juggle playing with full time jobs. It would be unheard of.
And whilst some Women’s Super League 1 players are fortunate enough to now have the advantage of solely focusing on football without having to work alongside training every day, sadly that has not trickled down the system yet.
This gives players in Women’s Super League 2 and the FA Women’s Premier League a massive disadvantage. This also means that there’s less opportunity to compete when promoted into WSL1. For example, Reading and Doncaster Belles are yet to win a game in WSL1 after being promoted this season. Compared to the likes of Chelsea and Man City who sit at the top of the table having settled into full time football – these clubs have the financial commitment to do so.
More TV coverage and exposure would result in a larger amount of money in the women’s game. Recently the men’s transfer window saw record-breaking billions spent. This happened due to the huge amounts of money involved in TV rights through the likes of Sky and BT Sport. So the answer is to get more media coverage including the likes of WSL2/Premier League. This will also give the opportunity for players to showcase their skills for more opportunities to get scouted and recognised
Agents were recently accused of imploding the women’s game by putting unrealistic deals on the table. In my opinion, agents in the game add professionalism and enhance players’ chances for a deserving payment. This can only build a platform for a successful career.
It comes to a point where females have to give up their childhood dream. Not because the young girl that fell in love with the game fell out of it. That’s far from the case. It’s a case of financial status.
It’s due to the time commitments, long hours of training and traveling becoming an issue alongside work demands. So depending on flexibility, playing alongside a separate career can become an issue causing early retirements for talented players. Players who are left wondering what could have been. More money in the game would be helpful beyond belief.
First thing I do on the train in the morning on the way to work is open up the back pages of the paper to see the latest sports interests. But what percentage is filled with women’s football? Sadly not enough, leaving a minority aware of the unsung hero’s in the women’s game.
Follow Samantha at @samantham7pd