I have chosen to do my essay about the history of women’s football in England. I’ve chosen to write about this because it is a topic which I am interested in as I play for a girl’s football team inside school and out. Also I would like to find out more about women’s football and where and when it all started. In this essay you will find out about the basic history of women’s football heading all the way back from 1895 to present day. I will also write a comparison between men’s football and women’s and share my opinion about
1895-1920 On the 6th April 1895 the first ever women’s football game took place at Preston Park, Brighton. The event was organised to raise funds for local medical charities. In the match North beat South 7-1. Up to 1920 no more women’s matches took place until the first women’s international game when Dick Kerr’s English ladies took on the French Ladies. The result was a 2-0 victory to England; this game had a huge audience of 25,000 people. On Boxing Day 1920 a match took place between Preston and St Helens, Preston winning 4-0. It was the biggest crowd to date for a women’s match with 53,000 spectators.
1921 In 1921 another big match was supposed to take place between London and Paris. This match never went ahead due to the FA. The FA issued a ban against womens football. They stated ‘the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged’. This meant any women caught playing football on the grounds of an affiliated club would be punished for breaking the law. Many women were disgusted by the decision and thought it was very unfair to do this. If I was around in this time I would also be very aggravated by the decision and I would be offended that they still allow men to play.
1969-1971 After 48 years of womens football being banned women wanted to change this. They started to become very annoyed a started campaigning. After a few campaigns 44 women got together to form The Womens Football Association (WFA). They were hoping that they would slowly gain back the right to play womens football. Two years later in 1971 the FA council lifted the ban against women which allowed women to play football once again. It had been fifty years since they had been allowed to play so they knew that the game would be no longer as popular as it was and it would take a while to get it back to the way it was. Not long after the ban was lifted women were advertising for football teams all around the country.
1991-1994 Since 1971 womens football slowly grew bigger and bigger with many small local leagues playing all around the country. In 1991 the WFA launched a national league. It started off with 24 clubs from all around the country it was pretty similar to the womens league we have today. Two years later they found that the league had been very successful so the WFA decided to host a cup competition. In 1993 the WFA held a national cup competition with 137 teams entering from across the nation. Womens football was slowly becoming bigger and gaining popularity. In 1994 the FA took on the administration of the Womens Nation League and the League Cup competition. The league then became The FA Womens Premier League (FAWPL).
1997-1998 In 1997 the FA decided that they were going to develop womens football from the grassroots to the elite level. This meant that more young girls could get involved to gain popularity. In 1998 the first 20 Centres of Excellence were established for young girls. Sponsors were gained for the league and the cup competitions; this raised the profile of the women’s game. Also in 1998 Hope Powell was appointed as the first full-time coach for the England’s Women’s international side. This was a very big thing for the nation. I think this helped the game increase its popularity because it got more people involved in the game from an early age which meant in the future decade’s womens football should be a very popular game.
1999-2002 In 1999 England entered their first Fifa World Cup. The competition was held in the USA and which saw tickets sold out for most matches and over 90,000 at the Final. There had been a competition called the Women’s World Championship. This was just like a world cup and it was held in 1991 but England didn’t participate. In 2002 researchers found that football had become the top participated sport for girls and women of England. The FA had not planned for this to happen for another 3 years, so they were well ahead of schedule.
2005-Present In 2005 the UEFA Womens Championship was held in England. The opening matches attracted around 29,000 spectators per game, with around 2.9 million people watching the games live on BBC Two. The tournament was attended by over 115,000 fans within 15 matches. England went out in the group stages, but got a lot of recognition across the nation. Since then womens football has gradually become more popular and has reached the level it is at today. I think it has done well to regain its popularity after the fifty year ban, but I don’t think it will ever get back to the popular state which it was in before the game got banned.
FA’s Plan for the Future of Women’s Football The FA has many plans to increase the growth of womens football. They are introducing it to younger people across the country by holding taster days and trials for many football clubs. Also the FA is trying to expand the womens football league into two different leagues just like the men’s. Here is an extract from the article the FA released ‘The Football Association is considering introducing a two-tier Women’s Super League (WSL) in 2014. The eight teams that took part in the inaugural WSL season, which ended in August with Arsenal winning the title, have been offered new licences. Sixteen teams had initially applied for membership in 2010, with Sunderland and Nottingham Forest missing out. An FA statement said: “Plans being discussed include exploring the introduction of a second tier in 2014.”’ I think this is a good idea because it will make the game become more popular across the country. Also with more leagues being introduced this means more spectators which will mean more money is being funded into the association.
What I think of the Future of Women’s Football I think womens football has done very well to get back to where it is today due to the ban for fifty years. However, I don’t think that womens football will ever get to the stage like men’s because men’s football has had a lot more time to reach this popularity. Also there is a huge amount of money in the association and it would be practically impossible for women to get to that amount. I do think that womens football will grow bigger and younger girls will start to get involved. The only problem with this is it will take quite some time but they have to make up the time from the ban.
Comparison When it comes to football men and women play the exact same game but one seems to be a lot more popular, the men’s. Men’s football was first found in 1314 which is nearly 700 years ago and womens football was first found in 1895 which is not even 120 years ago. Therefore there was 581 years between men and womens football. Somehow this has managed to affect the popularity in the game as it is very rare to find womens football on television when it is averaged that there is one male football match per week shown on television. If you wanted to be a professional footballer whatever sex you are you would get paid, but there is a significant amount of money difference between the genders. The average male Manchester City player would receive around £86,280 per week plus bonuses and the average female Arsenal player would receive around £3,000 per week that means that there is £83280 different in the wages they receive each week.
Opinion I think that womens football is different today than men’s because the FA banned it. I think if women were able to play football all the way through the 20th Century I think womens and men’s football would be similar in popularity and the wages. I also think that is very silly that the games are treated differently because they both play the same game, 90 minutes each week and the male are treated much better and receive the better pay when they both do the same job.