women’s football finally at home in England

Abandoned for a long time in the cradle of football, the practice of women’s football has experienced remarkable growth over the last three or four years.

Banned for 50 years by the English federation, women’s football has regained its rights in the cradle of this sport and has experienced in recent years a development that follows in the footsteps of the prestigious Premier League. “The practice of football is totally inappropriate for women and should not be encouraged“, The FA had decreed in 1921.

If the English federation revoked its decision in 1971 and even apologized in 2008, women’s football has long been confidential and abandoned. “When I debuted at the highest level, in 2001, at the age of 14 (…) we only trained once a week and had matches on Sundays. Everything was done by volunteers who work for the love and pleasure of this sport“, recalled the former English international Karen Carney, in a forum for The Guardian, last September.”Two decades later, all teams are professional, with players who have good salaries and backed by a solid squad.“, continued to show the giant strides made in recent years thanks to a proactive policy of the FA.

The English federation, around the 2010s, began upgrading teams to semi-professionals.“, Recalled Sylvain Jamet, from the specialized site footofeminin.com, who has lived in England for twenty years. The 12-team championship became professional in 2018 and enjoyed a boom with the arrival of Barclays Bank as the main sponsor in 2019, followed by a new relay agreement in 2021, which provides about 23 million d annual euros in English women’s football. This new agreementgave the media treatment that women’s football needed“noted Sylvain Jamet, with”at least two or three matches that are exposed each day“, While the federation puts all matches online for free in its application.

We have three gyms, a covered synthetic field. It’s England, what!

Kenza Dalí

The written press has also got on the bandwagon. “Three years ago no national newspaper came to do the league matches. While at Arsenal or Chelsea, now, every time there is the Times, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the BBC, the Telegraph“Jamet noted. The first beneficiaries of this transformation are obviously the players.”I joined Arsenal five years ago and at that time the league was still not very professional. The progress made, especially last year, has been very important“Netherlands star Vivianne Miedema confirmed to AFP in February.”We have two assistants, a mental trainer (…) two physiotherapists, a masseur, a doctor. The staff is a little bigger (than in France) and then, in terms of infrastructure, we are in a huge center. We have three gyms, a covered synthetic field. It’s England, what!“, welcomed the Frenchman Kenza Dali, past West Ham and Everton.

Still modest budgets

Like their male counterparts, English clubs now attract the biggest stars, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr playing for example at Chelsea, three outgoing champions. Although the investment is minimal for the big clubs – Chelsea has a budget of about 7 million euros, and Manchester City or Arsenal less than that – women’s football is a vector in itself . When Chelsea changed hands in the spring, acquisition candidates had to pledge to continue investing in the women’s team, and when Liverpool secured their return to the top flight in April, Jürgen Klopp he praised them, even addressed their direction.

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Liverpool were not known in recent years for caring for or treating their women in a fantastic way. They did not go down to the Championship (D2) for no reason. Now that they are back (in the top category), we need to make sure we take advantage of this situation“, had slipped at a press conference. More and more often, Premier League stadiums open to women’s matches. Newcastle, however, in the D4, brought more than 22,000 spectators to Saint-James Park on With an inaugural European Championship match at Old Trafford and a final at Wembley, which they have almost completed in a friendly against Germany, in November 2019, the Lions hope to overcome this wave to win a first title after three consecutive failures in the semifinals of major competitions.

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