Writing this entry will require me to walk a precarious metaphorical tightrope, one slip of the index finger could see me slip into the depths of being perceived as a sexist pig, rotten tomatoes will be hurled at me from the automatic doors of Topshop and Katherine Kitson. This could occur as the subject is all to do with women’s football, in particular, commenting on the recent BBC survey (March 2013) conducted to gauge women’s’ views on the financial remunerations they receive from running round getting a sweat on.
The main findings of said survey reveal that:
• 79% of sports women feel they are underpaid in comparison to men
• 84% feel media coverage is inadequate
I think some light needs to be shed on why the fairer sex get paid less and why there is little media coverage bar international tournaments and the FA cup final, demand and supply basically sums it up. Football fans want to see Gareth Bale skipping down the wing, RVP catching the ball perfectly with left foot volleys and Christian Benteke tormenting defences, single handily keeping a midlands club in the Premier league. To put some hard numbers behind this demand, the average stadium attendance of the Barclays premier league last season was just short of 36,000, in comparison the average attendance of the FA Women’s Super League was around the 500 mark. Because of the demand by punters, broadcast giants like Sky, ESPN, and new boys on the block BT sport supply it to the masses; this representation on TV screens across the globe generates huge sums of money, further enhanced by consequent advertising endorsements and shirt sales which drive up the value of players and the financial remuneration they receive.
An example of female football media representation comes from my recent reading of the newspaper juggernaut that is the ‘Metro’, Germany ladies triumph over Norway in the European championship final made the back pages! A textbox 5cms by 7cms, the story being summed up in just five sentences. Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Hungarian Grandprix took up three pages! Including a quote from ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger (she was pleased for him, ‘it’s been difficult for both of us since the split’).
So there we have it, this is why female footballers receive little financial reward in comparison to their male counterparts. The bottom line is, people watch sport for enjoyment and entertainment, if women’s football (and women’s sport in general) had increased attributes in these areas, it would be shown on TV screens on a Saturday afternoon quicker than you can say ‘Sexist Pig’.