Should Woman Footballer have the right to be paid?
Are women footballers treated differently in our society? I believe that when it comes down to football, men are looked at completely differently when compared to women. In the world of football women get treated like football is just a hobby not a job. What society does not realize about women’s football is that women work just as hard as men, but do not get the credit our men footballers get. Our men get paid millions of pounds, whereas women do not even get paid! Is this fair? Of course not and there are many reasons why society is like this; however are there things we can do to change this?
Who is there to say woman footballers do not work as hard as the men do? Men’s football maybe advertised on a wider scale, and this is where most of the money originates; women’s advertisement will never work unless it is experimented with over time. It will never just happen, nothing in life just happens, it takes time, trial and error in order to succeed. Society believes woman footballers do not work as hard, or play as seriously, as men because our media portrays women in this manner. The media feel we are not newsworthy and instead of featuring “up and coming women’s football” showing the blood, sweat and tears which are behind the game, they simply ignore women’s football, with maybe a one-liner every few months to demonstrate it does actually exist.
So without advertisement, will society change their minds?
The male professional footballers are at a different level compared to women professional footballers. However women these days are trying so hard in order to compete at the men’s level. No matter how much time goes on, it is not possible that women will ever equal the standard of men’s pro level footballers, simply because of the biological differences between the sexes.
Men’s games are a lot faster; they are physically able to play at a faster pace. Women can only play as fast as their biological allows and they are generally not naturally up to men’s level of speed. However when you compare pro women, to a standard women’s football team the difference in pace is obvious so, for women, their pro level of football is much faster than a standard team. This can also apply to the physical side of the game; men are, by virtue of their sex, naturally stronger and bulkier than girls no matter how much women train. Many women train exceptionally hard to increase their strength and speed, but cannot match the physical side of men’s. Being stronger and more physical affects the entirety of the game. Men’s games are more interesting to many people because of the pace and physicality of the game. Women pro footballers can compare to a semi pro men’s team, as the women’s team are technically superior and the semi-pros team is nowhere near as fast as a men pro team. This is why many people tend not to watch semi–pro, as they believe the pace of the game is too slow and boring. I believe this is why women’s football is not better publicized in comparison to the extensive advertisement campaigns for the men’s game.
Advertising, promotions and sponsorship are vital and many male footballers increase their income vastly through these processes. In England the Premier League I investigated is one of the best leagues in the country. Many footballers from around the world move to England in order to try and make it into the Premier league. Barclays Bank is the biggest sponsor as they sponsor the actual Premier league.
“Banking giant Barclays has extended its sponsorship of the Premier League in England until 2016 in a three-year deal worth £40m a year from 2013” ( Premier League and Barclays sign new three-year deal).
This demonstrates just how much money is involved in the men’s game. Businesses seriously analyze the advertising benefit when sponsoring a team in the Premier League. To sponsor the Premier League, or any teams involved in this league, results in the company spending large sums of money. Every football team in the Premier League has their own sponsors, for example the biggest teams, like Manchester United, are sponsored by Anon. in 2013/14 they signed a new deal in order to sponsor the Manchester United’s training ground.
“The club today enhanced their chances of reclaiming their position as the highest-earning side in the world with an eight-year deal worth almost $30m (£19.6m) a year, through which Aon will sponsor the Carrington training ground” (Herbert).
This is just one of their sponsorship deals on offer, and every club has more than one entity sponsoring them. Another method of sponsoring teams is to put their business name on footballers’ shirts. For example in 2014/2015 Chevrolet sponsors Manchester United shirts and for the just the 2014-2015season, this deal is worth 45million per year. Manchester United commands the most lucrative sponsorship with shirts as they are the current top team in the Premier League. However a lesser team like Sunderland still has a big sponsorship deal with Invest in Africa currently worth 20 million a year. There are still many more sponsors of the club. Manchester United sponsorship deals keep rising every year.
“Up until now, United has expanded its commercial income from high-profile deals such as the [pounds sterling]80m ($125m) shirt sponsorship with US insurance group Aon, and the [pounds sterling]40m training kit deal with logistics company DHL . United last season earned [pounds sterling]103.4m in commercial revenues, up 27 per cent on the previous season” (Blitz).
Also each player is chosen to be sponsored by some company, whether it is by a brand so that they have to wear the brand’s boots, or possibly a sports drinks company, where the player has to be seen drinking out of their bottles. So you can see where the money comes from in the men’s game: sponsorship is the key money maker in the men’s game.
As well as sponsorships, men’s games are widely televised. Most of the Premier League games are on television and they are viewed by millions of people. It is not just people in England who watch the Premier League; the men get viewers from all over the world.
“Earlier this month, a report was published that said the Premier League was watched by 4.7bn people and that games were streamed into 643m households around the planet.”
This demonstrates how many people actually watch the league. As well as watching the game on television, all the big teams’ stadiums are always packed out; trying to get tickets to a big game is very hard as the tickets tend to not go on sale to the general public. You have to be a member of the club and season ticket holders take up the majority of seats. These are expensive and can have waiting lists of many years. For example, my friend was on the waiting list for 10 years before she got her Arsenal season ticket. This ticket costs her around $1600 a year and it only covers homes games, this demonstrates just how popular a football game can be. I found that Arsenal was shown to be the club that cost the most for a season ticket however the average price ranges from around 489.11 pounds which is around $814.32.
“The BBC Sport Price of Football study found the average price of the most affordable adult season ticket in the top flight has gone from £467.95 to £489.11 in the past year, with seven clubs raising prices this season.”
This just shows how expensive it can be to own a season ticket, not to mention the long wait in order to gain the ticket.
The men’s game prices are a lot different to the women’s as a lot more money is involved in the men’s game compared to women’s. The main reason men get paid so much is because the club is taking in more money from advertising and the men’s fan base. Most men’s games tend to have around 30,000 fans watching in the stands. However, when the main games are played many more fans attend and the stands are full. The Emirates holds up to “60,361 seats”, so when there is a big game going on all these seats are filled. In comparison, Arsenal Women play at Meadow Park, which holds around 200 seats and 3 standing areas. On a good day the Arsenal Women can get up to 2000 if they are lucky. On a regular game day this drops to around 500 people. Therefore, it is disappointing to see that Women’s football does not command the respect and money to pay woman as much as the men.
For woman, the ticket prices and fan base is a lot different compared to men’s. Not many people attend woman’s football matches. This is because they are poorly advertised and not many people know when and where games are being held. Where as an average season ticket holder for a men’s club is around £467.95, to get a season ticket for a woman’s club called Birmingham, the price is around £40.00, which is $67.07. This is a big difference and the men rely on their ticket sales to bring a large amount of money into the club.
When it comes down to how much men in the Premier League get paid, I believe they are paid excessive amounts. The more successful a team is, the higher the salary its team can command: playing for a bigger team the players demand more money. Men footballers perceive footballing as a job, and they do not play for fun anymore. They are never satisfied with how much they get paid, and always demand more. Wayne Rooney from Manchester United is no the highest paid player in the Premier league. He signed a new deal with Manchester United where he earns £300,000 a week. This is around $499,469.73 a week.
“With Wayne Rooney agreeing to sign a new £300,000 per week contract at Old Trafford making the rounds this week, Football Daily has taken a look at the Top 10 Highest Paid Premier League”
The average earning per week in the Premier League is around £22,353, this is around $34,000 and this is without bonuses.
“Average Premier League wages have reached £22,353 a week – before lucrative bonuses – or £1.16million a year.” (Miller)
As you can see even the low paid players are earning an amazing wage, this is in stark contrast.
Many people consider playing football is an easy job in life: However, the society does not realize is that it’s so hard becoming a professional football player that it affects a woman’s life. What society doesn’t realize is that professional woman footballers get paid very little or nothing at all. Within the profession, only two players from each team get paid; the other players only get their expenses paid. I believe this is not good enough! The two players being paid would be the best; however their wages are nowhere near the fantastic amounts male footballers earn and women will tend to find it hard to live solely on money derived from being a footballer. Casey Stone, England captain tells us in an interview about her wages and how she has to have to jobs in order to earn £25,000.
“her wage for both is so low she has to supplement it with two other part time jobs. She estimates that her jobs combined earn her about £25,000 a year – roughly what John Terry earns in a day” (Stoney).
Over the past four years women’s football is becoming more popular every year all over the world not just in the England. Most countries are now investing more money into women’s football as the players are getting bigger and better and present a more interesting game, using their unique skills, as the years pass. Women are becoming like men; they are learning the skills and the methods to play more like men play the game. Many more young girls are playing football; it is accepted and played at schools and many towns have girl’s teams throughout the different age brackets. There are good women role models that young girls aspire to being these days. When I was younger I never knew or heard of any women footballers; I never had a women’s role model, as you never saw or heard of professional woman football players. Nowadays it is gradually changing; advertisement is increasing and young children are watching women’s games. They have some role models they wish to emulate when they are older. In America, women’s football is growing in popularity; little girls are following the USA team and aiming to achieve the same skills, wanting to play for their country when they are older. America is advertising women’s football a lot more than England; however women’s football is still not on TV as the men’s game is. I believe that in the next ten years women’s football will become more prominent as it attracts more advertising and the games will be comprehensively covered by television; this is because of the amount of growth in the game. It is not easy to become a woman footballer – will it become better in years to come?
It is difficult, if not impossible, for women to live off just playing football as most do not get paid. Women football players need full time employment as well as finding time to fit their training sessions and games in. Most women find it hard to get a well paid job they enjoy that allows them to work around their schedules. Most employers obviously put their needs first, since that’s what they pay for, and are not very accommodating concerning outside hobbies. Since women’s football is not represented seriously, most people do not understand the skills, training and physical ability needed to play football as a professional. This is because women do not get the credit they deserve. It is unreasonable to expect a woman with a full time job to also play football to a professional standard, when men do not have to work along side football. One never sees a male pro football player work a day in their professional footballing lives. This is because of all the training they do and the rest and recovery period is just as important as the training. Being a professional footballer is hard work on your muscles, therefore you need to make sure that they have time to rest and recover properly. Women pro footballers do not have the luxury of this rest or recovery time as they need to work in any free time they get. Woman pro’s need to be training just as much as men and just as hard but this is rarely possible as they do not get nearly as much support as the men do.
This is where it gets hard as a woman footballer, as a result of the low income they need to look into finding a job, however this is not that easy; football is their life and they need to find a job that will work around their football schedule. We all know that an average job tends to not worry about other circumstances outside of work, therefore finding a job that will work around your schedule is not just hard but also inconvenient. The job women tend to get are not pleasant and is not the life they want to live, however if they want to continue playing at the level they are, then they need to do whatever it takes. This is where you can find more passion in woman football players compared to men. There are so many more obstacles in the way of women becoming professional footballers that only the really passionate, single minded women can achieve this.
I believe there is an easy solution to solve all these problems in the women’s football; a way to pay women and make their lives better. It will also enable them become better footballers, which in turn will make the women’s game more interesting. This is because they will have time to focus all their attention on practicing and working hard. I believe men earn more than enough money to live on and so each player from the men’s team should get assigned a player on the women’s team. Like the men’s goalkeeper should get the woman goalkeeper. Then men can give their player around £2000 per week, which the men are not even going to notice as they are earning thousands a week. Even if it weren’t equal, this would help women to be able to live and not have to work, apart from their career as a footballer. Also the club does not lose out on any money as they are not the ones paying the woman. That enables clubs to just focus on paying for all the other necessities, like the pitch and training facilities. Also, I believe that many men footballers would feel that this is a good way to get involved in the women’s game as the men and women’s game is separate and they are not involved. We need to bring the woman and men together so that society can see that the football industry is not separated.
I believe that woman’s football need to have money put into it. I feel that if the men’s clubs invest in woman’s football, in the long run they will be making money from it. Just like any investment, it takes time to make money. If you invested in woman’s football, you wont begging to see a profit for a couple of years. However the more you advertise and the people invest in the football, the bigger it is going to get. I believe that is you start advertising it on television, more people will start watching the game, which will make more people wanting to go and watch the woman live. I believe that in time woman’s football will become a business, just like the men’s and it can make people money. However this is never going to happen, unless they are given the opportunity.
Work citied page.
Sport Intelligence, Nick Harris 27th October 2011.
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Top 10 highest paid premier league player. February 23rd 2014
Miller, Alex. “Exclusive: Official Figures Show Top-flight Wages Are Now FIVE times More than in Championship.” Mail Online. N.p., 29 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 May 2013.
“Premier League and Barclays Sign New Three-year Deal.” BBC News. BBC, 13 July 2012. Web. 14 May 2013. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-18825986
Salter, Jessica. “Casey Stoney: England Football Captain Who Earns in a Year What John Terry Is Paid in a Day.” The Telegraph. N.p., 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 May 2013.
Andy Cryer BBC sport 12 september 2013. Price of Football – Premier League sees some rises in cost
BBC Sports season tickets