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bradigor

Changing Focus of your Football Club. - Men to Women

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How would you feel if your supported team moved from focussing on the Men's senior team, to the Women's?

 

I know this isn't happening at the moment with Everton, but it got me thinking after they renamed Everton Ladies to Everton. Which I think is a very good move on their part.

 

This got me thinking though. 

 

What if a team such as Bury FC came back as Women's team as the lead focus, using Gigg Lane and pushing into the top end of the game at an opportunistic time? Could other teams look at doing the same in the next few years? Is it even a viable thing?

 

Whilst it is great that Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, etc are giving more exposure to the Women's game and sharing the facities equally in some cases, do we actually need more teams that are piggy backing on the bigger Men's teams? Should we be looking at more independent Women's teams springing up and being the main draw for that town / city? 

 

At one point the Doncaster Belles were much more successful that Doncaster Rovers and were one of the top teams in the country. Unfortunately they fell away, but still. Could it be possible again?

 

Can we get to a point when it would be socially acceptable for a Women's team to be the bigger draw in certain places?

 

What say you rllmuk?

 

(Sunday morning ramblings)

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It’s pretty embarrassing that Sheffield Wednesday don’t even have a women’s team, especially when the men’s team is one of the oldest in the country, but hopefully it’ll become inevitable. And if it happens relatively promptly they’d have a fair chance of out-performing the men.

 

I saw it suggested somewhere that having a women’s team should be a condition of EFL or at least Premier League entry and that sounds like a good idea to me.

 

As for a team relaunching as solely women’s...I dunno. Logically it’s reasonable, but it does potentially lose a lot of historical teams. Both is definitely better than one or the other. 

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1 hour ago, Rev said:

It’s pretty embarrassing that Sheffield Wednesday don’t even have a women’s team, especially when the men’s team is one of the oldest in the country, but hopefully it’ll become inevitable. And if it happens relatively promptly they’d have a fair chance of out-performing the men.

 

I saw it suggested somewhere that having a women’s team should be a condition of EFL or at least Premier League entry and that sounds like a good idea to me.

 

As for a team relaunching as solely women’s...I dunno. Logically it’s reasonable, but it does potentially lose a lot of historical teams. Both is definitely better than one or the other. 

 

That's an excellent idea.

 

Are there any professional women's teams that aren't an offshoot of a men's team?

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Millwall 'lost' our women's team at the end of last season, the Lionesses board of directors deciding to go independent and are now London City Lionesses.
Playing in the championship, they're the highest ranking independent women's team.

 

Millwall has reformed a new women's team, who have started in the 5th tier.

 

This leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I naturally supported Millwall lionesses as they were the offshoot of Millwall men's team. Do I now support London City Lionesses or stick with the new Millwall Lionesses? My instinct say to follow Millwall, but I was actively engaged in the London City team, it was more than just a passing interest at some scores once in a while just because they share the same name as my men's team.

Oddly, the downgrade means that the new Millwall lionesses play closer to where I was born - which is how these things are decided when you're a kid.

 

And should we all just naturally follow our Women's versions of the men's teams? For those of us who support the 'neighbourhood' team, it seems an easy choice. For those who follow big clubs outside of the town they were born in, does the same rule apply?

 

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To be honest I think the medium to long term goal has to be teams operating independently of the men's teams. The 'parent' club will only keep doing it as long as there's a chance it'll turn a profit in the near future, if there is another ITV Digital type episode (unlikely, admittedly) the women's team would be dropped like a hot potato.

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It’s a tricky one because the answer to your question, how would I feel?, is pretty annoyed to be completely honest. I’ve followed Liverpool for about 34 years through the ups and downs and have ‘invested’ a lot of time and emotion into it so if they suddenly started ploughing all the resources into the women’s team instead it wouldn’t sit right with me. 

 

I’ve got no problem with women’s football at all, I’m happy that it’s doing well and getting on TV but I think it should be in addition to the men’s game, not competing with it for audiences etc. 

 

With so much men’s football coverage already, adding more football is difficult without cutting back somewhere but I think that’s what it needs. A dedicated Women’s channel on Sky or wherever for the league. It needs to be taken more seriously and given the coverage but if it’s seen to be replacing anything there’ll be complaints. 

 

Personally I'm just not that interested but that’s nothing to do with it being women than it is that I’m not interested in much football that’s not Liverpool. I almost exclusively watch Liverpool games and dip into others in the same way I did with the women’s World Cup, where I enjoyed a couple of games. 

 

It does seem like if you say you don’t give a shit about it people assume it’s for sexist reasons, but for me it’s just the same as how I don’t give a fuck about the Russian League or the Championship. 

 

I do think it would be more interesting if the women’s teams weren’t subsidiaries of men’s teams but then where does the funding come from? It does feel like big clubs are using the women’s game to ‘expand their brand’ rather than as a genuine sporting venture. There needs to be more money and sponsorship in women’s football to encourage independent teams. 

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I would imagine the reason for the association with the bigger clubs (other than purely financial) is that they likely have the resources, training facilities, grounds, general infrastructure, market presence/brand and coaching experience to be successful at running a Women’s team alongside the Men’s team.

 

I don’t really follow it too much. But I do watch some of the Women’s cricket. One thing Australia are brilliant at is in the Big Bash they don’t seem to distinguish between the Men and the Women at the franchises. If you visit their websites (e.g. the Adelaide Strikers https://www.adelaidestrikers.com.au/players ) and select the Players tab it just presents all the players associated with that franchise regardless of whether they are male (playing in the BBL) or female (playing in the WBBL) Effectively treating them all as Squad members and all representing Adelaide in this case. Which they are.

 

You can filter by Male and Female but the default is just Players (regardless of gender) 

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I would have thought the ultimate aim would be to just combine them but maybe I’m being stupid. I’ve definitely seen a few women players who could play in men’s teams and I haven’t watched much, I’m sure there are plenty. 

 

I don't think it’s such a physical sport that it needs to be separate. You get all sorts guys in men’s football, it’s not like you have to be a big muscle bound lump. 

 

If a woman is good enough I don’t see why she shouldn’t be able to play for whoever and earn the big bucks as their new striker or whatever rather than be sectioned off into separate league with less on offer. 

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Obviously you don't expect the big teams like Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea to stop the focus on the mens team, because they are competing at the very top level. But how about a Southport, Hornchurch, Bury, Everton, Billericay, Sale, etc. 

 

I don't know, I think I look at it from a really selfish point of view in terms of the growth of the sport. 

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5 hours ago, bradigor said:

Obviously you don't expect the big teams like Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea...  

But how about a Southport, Hornchurch, Bury, Everton, Billericay, Sale, etc. 

 

 

Lol.

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I'm curious about what's going to happen soon because the Chelsea / Spurs women's game attendance was something like 25K. They said this is up from 5k at the highest attending game last season. 

 

I think they obviously sold tickets cheap ( we seemed to get extras for free by accident ) so that's part of it, but The Hive capacity (Spurs women) is 6500. I think Kingsmeadow where Chelsea women is 4,850.

 

But they're showing that they can outsell that by 5 times? Now, I doubt overnight they could sell that many tickets for every game, but these teams are going to outgrow capacity quickly. Will they just play in the main stadiums? Or will they try to get dedicated stadiums? I'd expect the former, but then we have a bit of a scheduling thing. I mean, I'm sure there's a way to manage it though. 

 

We bought Spurs women's season tickets, they were cheap, but we probably won't go to a lot of games just because the Women's stadium is a trek for us, but we can walk to the main Tottenham stadium. So I really do hope they just start playing more there, because then we can show support. But I am concerned that the Women's league becomes expensive, inaccessible like the mens is. It was great seeing so many families at the women's game, the atmosphere was more diverse and friendly.

 

I'm not really answering the original question. I think it'll be good to have a mix of teams in whatever the top division is, so Premier League and Super League aren't all the same teams, and there's a bit of a mix and some teams that don't have a mens. It'll be fun if some Women's teams start Men's teams. 

 

In terms of changing focus, I don't really want to change, for example, World cups I like that they are separate so I can really focus on one tournament. But the Premier league is just a silly amount of football games to be into anyway, but it's one of those things where we watch a few games, but enjoy just keeping tabs on the running scores more than anything, so I think we can easily just split our focus on both. 

 

 

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On 08/09/2019 at 20:46, wev said:

 

That's an excellent idea.

 

Are there any professional women's teams that aren't an offshoot of a men's team?

The most dominant women's team in Scotland is a standalone team, Glasgow City. They won ten leagues in a row, although at a time when there was little real competition. The big men's clubs now have proper women's teams (previously they were just affiliated clubs allowed to use the name, quite often) so it has got more competitive. That said, as far as I am aware Celtic are the only professional full time team in Scotland. We're building a dedicated ground on the old  defunct training ground 

 

It's pretty common for European clubs to have teams in multiple sports - they're sports clubs rather than football clubs - the lack of that tradition in the UK is a small part of the reason why I think it has taken so long for the established clubs to take women's football seriously. 

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On 09/09/2019 at 18:16, Pockets said:

I would have thought the ultimate aim would be to just combine them but maybe I’m being stupid. I’ve definitely seen a few women players who could play in men’s teams and I haven’t watched much, I’m sure there are plenty. 

 

I don't think it’s such a physical sport that it needs to be separate. You get all sorts guys in men’s football, it’s not like you have to be a big muscle bound lump. 

 

If a woman is good enough I don’t see why she shouldn’t be able to play for whoever and earn the big bucks as their new striker or whatever rather than be sectioned off into separate league with less on offer. 

 

You think so?  Sounds like an awful idea to me that would restrict opportunities for women to play at the top level, as men on average are going to be quicker, stronger, taller etc.

 

I'd say the sport is a lot more physical than you're suggesting.  If we separate in tennis I can't see how we'd combine in football.

 

I also think it would be tough for a male player to give their all against a female opponent.

 

I like the idea of football clubs treating both first teams as first class citizens as has been suggested above.

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On 09/09/2019 at 08:48, Yobo Ahoy said:

To be honest I think the medium to long term goal has to be teams operating independently of the men's teams. The 'parent' club will only keep doing it as long as there's a chance it'll turn a profit in the near future, if there is another ITV Digital type episode (unlikely, admittedly) the women's team would be dropped like a hot potato.

 

I feel the best way to do it is to run them on equal terms. Not necessarily financial - Newcastle United aren't going to throw Premier League money at their third tier women's side and nor should they - but equal in terms of access to facilities, opportunity, youth teams, and sense of community. A club that can allow the women's team to benefit from the success of the men and vice versa is a better prospect than a club run exclusively for one of them.

 

As you say though, an independent club on their own terms is a better prospect than the team that's dropped as soon as things look tough for the more fancied gender. Making the running of such teams a requirement for continued entry to the EFL and Premier League would help mitigate against that.

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