Giving Supporters Representation

Scottish Supporters Network

Supported by:   Supporters Direct Scotland

Let’s Start A Female Revolution!

Date: 2nd February 2018

By Scott Johnston, Editor of The Footy Blog & DP for Full Time Films.

I’m pretty sure this article is going to be Marmite for those that read it, some will love it and others will hate it. All I ask, is that you hear me out.

I think the time is ripe for Scottish football to make a huge commitment to the females of our country.

Our football clubs need to do more to get women through the gates, into boardrooms and more on the park (as players or officials).

While I don’t think Scottish sides actively discourage female participation, more clubs are starting ladies teams for example, I also don’t think they necessarily do enough to encourage more involvement from the female population.

When I say they could do more, I am calling for a whole lot more. It all starts from the stands, we need more women coming through the terraces. We should look at bringing in discounted ticket schemes for single or season tickets.

People might say that that’s positive discrimination but I really don’t think it is. I look at it this way, football was formed in a working class boom. That meant when football was at it’s beginning the average man could take part and go to games. That continued for generations and generations.

For a lot of that time, females either felt intimidated or unwelcome. in fact, no woman had voted in a general election until 1918, never mind have the chance to enjoy football in a stadium being classed as an equal.

In essence, all I want to do is readdress the balance and give potential female supporters the same chance to get fall in love with a wonderful sport.

Now females have made their way to the terraces for decades but still not in the same numbers as the men. To me, that’s not right!

If you can get more females into the stadiums then who knows maybe they’ll bring their partners, friends, parents and/or kids. That could also improve some of the anti-social behaviour issues we have in the stands.

Why don’t we see more of the women’s game up here?

Our women’s national team are on a roll and qualified for their last European Championships.

When was the last time our men did that? Oh yeah twenty years ago!

I would also like the SFA to take more responsibility when it comes to announcing the Scottish home game venues and advertising them prolifically.

In Glasgow City FC, we have a team who are making significant inroads in European competition and dominate the top tier of women’s football in our country. Hibernian are getting better all the time. Yet how many times do we see these teams on our TV screens?

Why on earth have STV or BBC Scotland not approached the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL)? I doubt it would cost anywhere near as much as any rights to the men’s game. It would bring in a new audience and show off our women’s game.

I personally haven’t done enough when it comes to the female side of the game but that will change that this season. I’ve got two nieces and they enjoy playing football, especially the eleven year old.

My brother took the girls to the Scotland Slovakia game last year and had to pay £70 for his three tickets. It was their first ever match and Scotland won, so the girls loved it but the price of those three tickets (two of which is for under 16s) is far too steep!

That got me thinking about Glasgow City. It would give the girls a chance to see good football, they could relate to the players and that is a way to inspire them. The ticket prices are very realistic and I will definitely take them to games at Petershill Park this year.

When you look at the jobs that Ann Budge (Hearts) and Leann Dempster (Hibs) have done, it shows that our game would be enriched with more females in administrative and boardroom roles. We shouldn’t be afraid to have boardrooms full of different faces whether it be different genders, skin colours, religions and/or sexual preferences.

I’d also urge our media to have more female writers and pundits that are women. It’s about time we appreciate the opinions that everyone can contribute to our game.

It’s 2018 and I think if the SFA, SPFL and our media should really make a big deal of the women’s game and reach out to get more female fans through all of our turnstiles. Then we could see are real turning point, dare I say a positive revolution that generations after us will celebrate and thank us for!

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