Let’s have a look at women’s football. In a sport where we are in awe of technical skill, team work, instinct and movement there should be no reason why women’s football should be seen as worse than men’s. Yes, on average due to the in-game tempo the women’s games cover less of the pitch but I don’t watch football for incredible feats of speed and strength, that is what the Olympics are for. In fact, in this age of the high press and athleticism in the men’s game, women’s football has a chance to be a far better technical sceptical (fun fact – a group in South America are so fed up with the pressing in the men’s game they are trying to change FIFA rules to teams of 10 rather than 11). Still need convincing, look at hockey. People don’t watch women’s hockey and think “I could really do with watching some men’s hockey”, yet the men are faster, stronger and hit the ball harder. With all this in mind, for it to compete against the men’s game it needs the numbers in the stadium and this is down to promotion.
After the 2017 Women’s Euros in Netherlands, there is no better time to share my thoughts on the promotion of the women’s game. Firstly, I would like to state that I am not in favour of more women’s football on TV if the stadiums are empty. An empty stadium dries an atmosphere and tells me the game is not worth my time. No, lets fill the stadiums before the TV coverage comes in. So, let us begin.
Target market. There are plenty of regions in the country that love football but don’t have a high-profile team to put their time behind. I am sure Sunderland would love any success and a high-profile women’s team winning trophies would sure help things up there. Especially as it will also be more affordable. The South West also suffers from none successful football teams and is a place where I think a women’s team or two could rake in the fans. I understand this is not something the authorities can enforce, but if chairmen are sensible they will try and secure fans now with this suggested method. Getting some emotional attachment early doors can be priceless and could end up generating generations of fans.
The second idea is in terms of chairmen making money, run male and women’s games at the same time in the stadium. Culturally people travelling to watch football is “THE THING” to do on a Saturday. Let’s make more a day out of it. Put a women’s match on before for low price tickets. Those who buy the women’s tickets can now have discounted drinks and food within the ground itself. Makes personal and business sense. I have done a survey of this method too. My local team, Bromley are opening their brand-new pitch and (to “make a day of it”) the Crystal Palace ladies are playing before hand, and all the Bromley fans who I have asked are excited to get there early for the women’s match. Makes financial sense and promotes the women’s game. If this idea is not feasible this takes me to my third idea.
Arrange women’s and men’s matches on alternate weekends. Back in the 60’s or 70’s it was very common for a fan to go to Manchester United when they were at home and Man City when they were at home. Same for Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers. Now in a period where cross city rivalries are far more intense it seems football will never go back to these ways but why not schedule men’s and women’s matches to happen at different weeks. This would let the locals go along to both. There is still a strong contingent of people for whom football is the great escape from there mundane life and the thought of a week’s break for what it is a lot of peoples Mecha is too much for thought. I confidently state that those who have the Saturday 3 o’clock games fixed into their routine would love to have that home game EVERY Saturday, and women’s football can easily fill that goal.
My final idea is all to do with the FA however. If the four regional associations cannot bring themselves and come together for the good of the women’s game, and let a team GB go to the Olympics, it is a terrible waste of an advertisement opportunity for these women and (frankly) a disgrace. So, if this is something the FA can’t do, this is what they must do! Hold a four-way tournament between the 4 home nations and let the winner represent Britain at the Olympics. Obviously, I don’t need to tell any sports fan the power of inspiration the Olympics can bring. I have learnt about many different sports and many different stars. Some people from the 2012 Olympics I still follow on twitter to this day and am very interested in their lives. Football needs to take advantage of this. I also think a four-year cycle tournament between the four nations would be excellent television which drive up incredible atmospheres, another opportunity that the FA cannot, and should not, miss!
So, what do you think, let BURN FM here your opinions. Are there other advertisement opuntias that I have missed out? Can you think of better ones? Either way enjoy women’s football for what it is bringing but know the job is not yet done and let’s allow it to grow.