Last week saw the Spanish giants, Real Madrid, introduce a women’s team to their set up. Long overdue, some may argue. The news meant that Manchester United are now the only ‘elite club’ to not field a women’s team. So just why are the Red Devils still stuck in the dark ages?
Women’s football is deeply ingrained in the history of the beautiful game. That’s a fact.
The first female football clubs began to appear in England way back in the 1890s. Preston was home to the first big women’s team – Dick Kerr’s Ladies – and they managed to attract an impressive crowd of 53,000 even in 1920.
— GoalChatter (@GoalChatter) March 23, 2017
The typically regressive FA banned women’s football from its clubs’ grounds for being “quite unsuitable for females” a year on.
Later, however, the first ever Women’s FA was formed. Staggeringly, this event occurred in the same year that man landed on the moon. Quite the contrast in priorities, it would appear.
Finally, in 1993, the FA established its very own Women’s Football Committee. How kind. What progressive chaps they were.
Anyway, since then most professional football clubs have set up their own women’s team. It took 100-odd years but it happened. For most clubs anyway.
And since those early first steps in the 1890s, the human race have achieved all manner of things. From inventing the computer to cloning animals and developing your Apple Touch ID, we certainly seem to have come a long way.
But not for Manchester United.
No, in fact Manchester United haven’t come very far at all. If anything, they’ve gone backwards. And not just in the league.
Points after 28 games as manger of @ManUtd:
– Van Gaal: 63
– Moyes: 59
– Mourinho: 53 pic.twitter.com/kRQvGzGhJf
— SPORF (@Sporf) April 1, 2017
When Malcolm Glazer’s takeover ruined the soul of United in 2005, the women’s team fell by the wayside, too. Having once run a women’s team, Glazer deemed it as “not being part of the core business” and so gave it the axe.
That move meant that United have now become an isolated bunch of pre-war cavemen. They are the only top club in the world to not run a women’s team and the reason why is quite chilling.
Even with all the progress of the 20th century, United still see running a women’s team as not particularly important. They’re not going to be a lucrative bunch, so why bother? United would rather focus on pumping money into hopeless prima donnas like Paul Pogba.
The fact that they have the largest female fanbase in the world is apparently neither here nor there.
So perhaps it’s not that running a female team would be uneconomical.
Perhaps the board at United are just inherently bigoted. Do they all sit about the office playing at being men, discussing how best to scold their wives for a cold dinner? Do they all laugh rapturously every time Andy Gray drops the word ‘slapper’? And do they even whistle at 12 year olds from the side of a white van with their tops off whilst exposing the pasty body of a Stella-drinking sex god?
Possibly. We’re just postulating, though.
Awww see when middle aged men driving vans honk their horn and wolf whistle at you ??pls do it more we girls luuuv that x
— Chloé (@_martinchloe) March 30, 2017
Either way, their approach to women’s football is one that should have been long lost back with those Fairy Liquid adverts.
For one, it’s uneconomical. And that’s the most important thing for the Red Devils.
But, more importantly for everyone else, it’s completely unreasonable. Should young girls in Manchester still feel that football is ‘quite unsuitable for females’? Or should they be presented with a group of role models to aspire to?
We’ll leave you to answer that.
So, even with men on the moon, touch ID and the inclusive FA allowing women to play football; Manchester United still haven’t evolved.
They’re worryingly stuck in the dark ages and don’t seem to have any reason why.
But it’s high time to move on. Because – and don’t tell the Glazers this – women do, amazingly we know, have some significance in today’s society. They’re no longer just sandwich -making baby machines but real, working people. Hell, our entire country is even run by one. Oh, and they can just about kick a sack of air, too.
Whilst you’re here, have a look at the 12 not so obvious moments all Manchester United fans absolutely loved