There is no denying that women’s football has increased massively in popularity over the past year, with the success of Manchester City women’s team and England’s lionesses, it is being talked about now more than ever. The question still lies, however, why one of the biggest teams in the world, Manchester United, still does not have a women’s football team?
Head of football at the M.E.N Alice Mckeegan spoke on the matter saying:
“I can see both sides of the argument. From a female player that is playing in their youth team it must be really disappointing to reach adulthood and not be able to play for a senior team.
“If you are asking me if I’d like to see them have a team, then yes I would, but do I think it’s likely in the near future? No I don’t.”
The view that it is far down on the hierarchy, an age away from the phenomenon that is men’s football, has decreased significantly. England’s women gave the whole country hope, more than the men’s team has given us in years, when they reached the semi-finals of the European Championships earlier on this year.
The result was disappointing, but the fact over four million people switched over to Channel 4 for the night to watch the game, speaks for itself. The figures don’t lie, and they were the highest of the year for the semi-final.
From investment deals, to cup success, to mass improvements in coverage, women’s football has become a well-respected cog in the football machine that is ever-growing. Although England’s women paved the way for the advance of women’s football with their 2015 World Cup success, it has flowed over to the Premier League and lower league levels as well.
Southampton is the only other team in the Premier League not to have an affiliated women’s team, so it seems bizarre that despite its worldwide profile and engagement with fans, Manchester United have failed to seize the opportunity to add an extra, valuable feature to its club and fan base.
The situation at United is ‘under review’ and there is a ‘detailed analysis’ that is currently ongoing and has been for years but Manchester City women still remain dominant at the moment.
— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) December 5, 2017
BBC Sports reporter Bill Rice gave his thoughts on why Manchester United still don’t have a women’s team
Match of the Day pundit Jermaine Jenas has given his thoughts on women’s football in the past, stating that the BBC should have a women’s Match of the Day.
The fact that women’s football is on the rise should not be undermined or ignored, but embraced. Although progress is slow, it is not a complete impossibility. Manchester United had a women’s team up until 2005 and bringing one back would add another intense rivalry for the two Manchester clubs, whilst bringing nothing but more positives to the footballing community.
England Women’s Starting XI
Image taken from http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Group-Football-People-Team-Sport-Women-472909