This question has been argued for many years. Especially with women’s football becoming increasingly popular in the 1920’s. But back then, men were increasingly sexist and the FA (Football Association) was ran by men. The game that many women loved, and still do, was banned and labelled “quite unsuitable for female’s” – by men, obviously. A true fact to surprise you, and myself, women’s football once attracted more than 50,000. More than most men’s games. But let’s not get too deep into the history, that will come in a separate blog.
Now you can call me stereotypical, but you can’t argue with the truth. Men would present women with “men are physically and mentally challenged more when playing against other men” and women would respond with “men get paid for playing the exact same sport as men, no changes”. Both opinions may be true, but nobody actually looks at who covers sports.
Slightly off topic, but still a contributing factor as to why women’s football isn’t covered as much as men’s, sports journalism is prominently covered by men, which makes sense that sport played by men, is the dominant sport on television. You put two and two together and come to the conclusion that men prefer men’s sport and women prefer women’s sport. Or you put two and two together and get four. The popular broadcasters such as BBC have started to ‘tackle’ the issue by hiring female sports journalists such as Claire Balding, Jacqui Oatley, Gabby Logan and Alison Mitchell. If we compare these four women to the fourteen men named on the BBC sport’s website, that’s less than a third. To no surprise, bylines are dominated by men in national newspapers (a survey has proved this six months before and six months after the 2012 Olympics). Statistics show us that articles with a female byline was below 2%, 1.8% to be exact. Some papers didn’t even include female journalists, and at no point did the percentage rise higher than 3%.
This discussion was once brought up in a classroom when I was studying sport in college, and a boy said ‘men get paid more than women, so that’s why there’s no coverage’. Well yes, very true, but very wrong. Wayne Rooney is estimated to earn up to £260.000 per week, with Alex Morgan earning £1.3 million a year. Easy maths, Rooney earns that in just over a month. My argument presented back was ‘why do men get paid more for doing the same job?’ Women still play 11-a-side, 90 minutes, have free-kicks, corners, penalties, throw-ins, and so on. Yeah men may have a harder challenge due to them being stronger thanks to testosterone, but the game played is still the exact same.
The amount of money that men’s football brings into the country, and the world is immense. Reports have found that in the 14/15 season, the five big European leagues brought in the revenue of £12 billion, the Premier League generating £3.3 billion of that. Struggling to find information about how much revenue the ladies bring in for England, I found out some interesting facts about revenue in the US. Reading an article from the Daily Mail, the US Women’s Football Team earned more than $14 million revenue than the men’s. Is this unfair that they still get paid more? Also, the prize money for the world cup is quite a difference. Sixteen times more is the difference men receive over women.
I could go on to explain why women’s football deserves more coverage, for example the ladies are more like-able and not spoiled brats, they actually want to play football and do not waste valuable game time, men’s wages are repugnant, the women’s game is innocent and untainted, offers competition and more variety. The list is endless. I mean, in order to receive more coverage and to get more men to watch we could, i quote Sepp Blatter “wear tighter shorts”.