After what seems like an eternity, the new Premier League season is nearly upon us - there has been plenty of sport to fill the void over the summer though; the FIFA Women's World Cup, The US Golf Open and the beginning of both the Men's and Women's Ashes series. So let's start with a little quiz to see how much attention you've been paying over the last few months:
Summer Sports Quiz
1. Who is the all-time leading goal scorer at the men's FIFA World Cup Finals?
2. Who is the all time leading goal scorer at the women's FIFA World Cup Finals
3. Who won the men's US Golf Open in 2015?
4. Who won the women's US Golf Open in 2015
5. Who is the captain of the men's English cricket team?
6. Who is the captain of the women's English cricket team?
How many of the above questions did you get right without looking up the answer up?
You probably know the leading goal scorer at the men's FIFA World Cup and we're guessing that you could probably have pulled the names of the male US Open winner and the captain of the cricket team out fairly easily as well. But how many of the answers did you get for the women in the respective categories?
Probably not as many.
The simple, and possibly most controversial reason, is money. From investment to prize money there are still many sports that simply don't have equal footing for both men and women. A BBC study found that in 30% of sports men earn more prize money than women with football, golf and cricket being some of the biggest disparities - and it was only as recently as 2007 that Wimbledon started offering equal prize money!
Football, Golf and Cricket Pay Disparity
It's not just these sports which see a pay disparity as the below table shows: http://infogr.am/other_sports_with_pay_disparity
“But Women's Sports Are Unpopular”
The 2015 Women's World Cup final has become the most watched football game ever in the United States with an audience of 25.4 million viewers. This beat the previous record held by the US men’s football team when 18.2 million tuned in to watch USA play Portugal.
There were also high viewing figures in the UK, with a 32% audience share watching England in the quarter finals. Quite remarkable considering the time difference at the tournament meant these matches were being played late into the night. These viewing figures and audience share go some way to dispelling the myth that women's sport is not as popular as men’s, which is why many suggest there is not as much sponsorship or media coverage.
So How Do We Go About Changing This?
One of the biggest bugbears of any football fan heading to a men’s match is the cost of a ticket – the most expensive ticket to watch the Liverpool men’s team on a Premier League match day will set you back £52. Alternatively for £8 more you could buy a family season ticket (2 adults, 2 children) and watch the Liverpool Ladies for an entire season.
The recent women's World Cup proved that as a nation we support our women as much as our men – so this season why not take a visit to your local women's club? You’ll be giving a helping hand in changing the attitude of the sporting world.