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    So that's it until the Euros?

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      Olympics next year, GO. And the WSL, FA Cup, Continental Cup, Champions League, Euro Qualifiers, friendlies, etc., etc in the meantime. More than enough to be going on with.

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        Ah, but will they get the coverage?

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          The NWSL has gotten a deal with ESPN for the rest of the season, which will definitely help here.

          Barcelona streamed all of their Champions League matches last year, and were far from the only club to do so (though I very much realise that that isn't the BBC or the back pages).

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            Encouraging: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48912097

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              The record attendance of 5,265 for WSL needs to be consigned to history.

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                I think that we can safely assume that will happen very shortly.

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                  Originally posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
                  Ah, but will they get the coverage?
                  England games and some FA Cup ties are live on the BBC. Scotland/Wales/N.Ireland are often on their versions of that as well, or BBC Alba in Scotland's case. The Beeb also show WSL highlights in the weeklyish Women's Football Show. For live coverage of WSL/Champions League you will need access to BT Sport. They show at least one live match from essentially every round of fixtures. And that is if it all stays the as it's been before, rather than coverage expanding. These things were all available last season as well, for those who went looking...

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                    Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                    The record attendance of 5,265 for WSL needs to be consigned to history.
                    Originally posted by Nocturnal Submission View Post
                    I think that we can safely assume that will happen very shortly.
                    Hopefully, given the mooted opening round of fixtures at club's main stadiums and also the double-header Men's/Women's games that have been suggested. Though figuring out what the specific attendance of those is would be tricky. Even if the interest had been there, topping 5k would have been impossible for many clubs in the last few seasons. They weren't playing at big enough grounds.

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                      It seems a bit of a shame that the most successful womenís club sides are likely to be the same as the menís.

                      It'd be wonderful if some different sets of fans had successful teams to cheer on.

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                        In my experience, the fan bases tend not to overlap anywhere near 100 percent.

                        The market forces have just been too much for old school powers like 1. FFC Frankfurt, Turbine Potsdam or Doncaster Belles to withstand forever.

                        And there are case in which the women's side is much more successful (OL and Wolfsburg being prominent current examples).

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                          Levante in Spain break the trend somewhat as well.

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                            I've just applied for a couple of tickets for the Chelsea V Spurs game. It looks as though only the lower tiers are being opened for the game, which would be maybe 15k, though the club may move on that because it looks as though they've almost sold out already.

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                              That is great news.

                              Originally posted by tracteurgarÁon View Post
                              It seems a bit of a shame that the most successful womenís club sides are likely to be the same as the menís.

                              It'd be wonderful if some different sets of fans had successful teams to cheer on.
                              If ~10k fans were turning up regularly for any Women's team, they would be straight into the top bracket. Because they would be generating an income of the same amount as the big Men's clubs are plowing in as largesse. But if we want the sport to be fully professional before the crowds build up organically (which might take decades, if it ever happens) then the only way is cross funding. And that means the Premier League big boys. For a club like Doncaster Rovers, £2m is a massive chunk of their budget; if they direct that towards the Belles, the Men's team plummets down the leagues. Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal can happen across a pile of money like that that they had put down and plain forgot about. It's chump change for them.

                              This also applies to England vs the Rest of the World. Given the extra sums the Premier League generates for it's member clubs, they can set aside a few percent of their income and still have much more to spend on their Men's sides than an equivalent club in Spain, Italy or Germany would. As the Spainsh/Italian/German clubs are effectively having to compete with the likes of Southampton and Leicester for wages etc., that makes it very difficult for them to invest in their Women's sides in the same way. They need every cent of income to prevent the gap growing on the Men's side. cf. Huddersfield Town's income in 2018/19 was £96.6m. Juventus' Men's was £102m.

                              If the Premier League gets serious about investing, then the WSL probably should blow all the other leagues out of the water in double quick time. If Man United or West Ham suddenly offer say a Rose Lavelle a three year, £250k pa contract that incorporates international breaks to allows her to play for the USWNT and take her match fees from that on top, it would be basically impossible for the NWSL to compete with that financially. Not when it's a league trying to run itself as a business here and now rather than as a mix of an investment to build towards sustainability in five-ten years (11.7 million eyes explains a lot about why the Premier League is getting very interested in the growth potential of the WSL) and a social obligation.

                              My personal idea is that, rather than clubs funding their Women's teams directly with the complete uncertainty that brings (the tap can be shut off at any moment), the Premier League would agree an exchange of 'solidarity' payments with the WSL. Each league would hand the other 1.5% of it's central revenues, the percentage fixed for a 10 year period. What are those central revenues for the PL currently? See this handy table:-



                              1.5% of £2,456,008,346 is £36,840,125 pa to the WSL, which would be utterly transformatory for the Women's game (the recently agreed £10m three season title sponsorship deal for the WSL with Barclays is already being talked off in that manner), but is little more than the bounce of the ball in the final game of the season that sees a Men's team finish 9th as opposed to 10th in the table for the Premier League clubs (£1.842m reduction in payment compared to £1.919m difference per place). Pump 36 million pounds extra pa into the Women's game on top of that title sponsorship, their TV contract from BT Sport/BBC the value of which doesn't seem to be public but isn't much (-1.5% to pay back to the men on these two of course!) plus their own gate receipts, shirt sponsorship, and other commercial income and the WSL sides financial muscle would dwarf all others in their sector.

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                                Originally posted by tracteurgarÁon View Post
                                It seems a bit of a shame that the most successful womenís club sides are likely to be the same as the menís.

                                It'd be wonderful if some different sets of fans had successful teams to cheer on.
                                Even in Scotland I'd expect Celtic at least (unsurprisingly, Rangers don't seem too inclined to seriously involve themselves with something suspiciously "progressive") to invest a few quid in a pro women's team and blow Glasgow City and Hibs out the water.

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                                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                  In my experience, the fan bases tend not to overlap anywhere near 100 percent.

                                  The market forces have just been too much for old school powers like 1. FFC Frankfurt, Turbine Potsdam or Doncaster Belles to withstand forever.

                                  And there are case in which the women's side is much more successful (OL and Wolfsburg being prominent current examples).
                                  And Arsenal I suppose.

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                                    Originally posted by Janik View Post

                                    This also applies to England vs the Rest of the World. Given the extra sums the Premier League generates for it's member clubs, they can set aside a few percent of their income and still have much more to spend on their Men's sides than an equivalent club in Spain, Italy or Germany would. As the Spainsh/Italian/German clubs are effectively having to compete with the likes of Southampton and Leicester for wages etc., that makes it very difficult for them to invest in their Women's sides in the same way. They need every cent of income to prevent the gap growing on the Men's side. cf. Huddersfield Town's income in 2018/19 was £96.6m. Juventus' Men's was £102m.

                                    If the Premier League gets serious about investing, then the WSL probably should blow all the other leagues out of the water in double quick time. If Man United or West Ham suddenly offer say a Rose Lavelle a three year, £250k pa contract that incorporates international breaks to allows her to play for the USWNT and take her match fees from that on top, it would be basically impossible for the NWSL to compete with that financially. Not when it's a league trying to run itself as a business here and now rather than as a mix of an investment to build towards sustainability in five-ten years (11.7 million eyes explains a lot about why the Premier League is getting very interested in the growth potential of the WSL) and a social obligation.

                                    My personal idea is that, rather than clubs funding their Women's teams directly with the complete uncertainty that brings (the tap can be shut off at any moment), the Premier League would agree an exchange of 'solidarity' payments with the WSL. Each league would hand the other 1.5% of it's central revenues, the percentage fixed for a 10 year period....

                                    Pump 36 million pounds extra pa into the Women's game on top of that title sponsorship, their TV contract from BT Sport/BBC the value of which doesn't seem to be public but isn't much (-1.5% to pay back to the men on these two of course!) plus their own gate receipts, shirt sponsorship, and other commercial income and the WSL sides financial muscle would dwarf all others in their sector.
                                    I see what you're saying. But is that something we really want? The Premier League is skewing and disrupting the football ecosystem to a huge degree and it feels like it's eating itself. A main reason it hasn't imploded yet is the robustness of mens football, the inertia at lower levels of the game and among the football authorities that resists change or takes a while to change. Could the women's game really withstand the pressure without being warped into something else. (For example stopping for ad breaks every 15 minutes)

                                    Edit: tl;dr money has ruined the men's game. Do we want it to ruin the women's game too?

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                                      I get the economics of it but wouldnít it be great if the best womenís teams were from places not already boasting menís Premier League teams? I guess Doncaster Belles was a great example but, of course, they got moved aside to make way for the proxy of a Premier League behemoth.

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                                        The FA's strategy seems to be:
                                        - chuck money at women's football
                                        - at the same time, devalue it by making it a sideshow for the (men's) Premier League
                                        - alienate/price out existing supporters, many of whom are responsible for the game's current success
                                        - create a hermetically sealed professional top-flight to distract from the lack of health of the rest of the pyramid

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                                          If women's football is going to be an offshoot of the PL, then have the women play at the main ground as often as is practicable. I've never seen Arsenal Ladies play because going to fucking Borehamwood is a 2 hour plus journey on a weekend. In other words, nobody from south of Enfield is going to be arsed to go. And they're a trailblazer in women's football and seen with pride by most fans, not least because they win a lot and provide a lot of players to the England team.

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                                            I went to Borehamwood to see a WPL game against Chelsea in midweek and traveled back home to Surrey afterwards. It's not very easily accessible but it's not quite as bad as you paint it either.

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                                              Second captains have a new Phil Neville based linkpiece.

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