I thought I’d start off controversial.
Before I start my list, please note it doesn’t say “cannot” work in football. There are so many reasons why women should, and don’t worry, I’ll post about those too. Any one can work in football, if they (properly) know their shit and are doing it for the right reasons. However, there is no doubt it’s tough, and if your female, its even more challenging (but definitely not impossible). You have to bring something to the table that makes you stand out from the hundreds of male applicants with similar experience, that will apply for the same roles. It’s traditionally a man’s world and there are still a few of the ‘old boys’ around to make your life hard. Over the last 9 years, I’ve met, worked with and heard about many strong, respected, and intelligent females in football, who fully deserve their success. However, there are also a minority, who contribute to making the environment difficult by living up to the negative female stereotypes that remain ingrained in the minds of some of the traditional football folk. It hacks me off that these stereotypes still exist, so I really don’t like anyone adding fuel to the fire. Some of us have worked real hard to earn our professional reputations. Here are my 3 reasons why some women (and some men) shouldn’t choose to work in football:
1. If you want be with a player (at least for a night). Sorry, in my opinion, it’s a no go. Look, it’s fine, if you want to be a WAG, great. I don’t have an issue with that. Just don’t get a job at a football club to do so. Even if that’s not why you got the job, my strong advice is don’t go there. It gives us girls a bad rep, or at least doesn’t help proving the critics wrong. It takes a lot to earn respect in this game. Also, the lads talk to each other, and often the staff, about almost anything, definitely girls. Everyone will know, and no matter what else you achieve, or how good you are at your job, that’s all anyone will talk about.
2. If you can’t take (and give) A LOT of banter. Because you get a lot, everyone does. No subject is taboo. No sensitive topic avoided. No swear words left unsaid, and that’s all before breakfast. You’ll regularly be grateful your parents can’t hear the conversations you are having. Me, I love it, mostly the atmosphere is fun and lively, rarely meant to offend, but often to lighten the mood, embarrass and test the limits. But if you can’t take it, don’t think that means they will lay off, everyone loves someone who bites. Its men’s football changing room banter that extends beyond the changing room. If you chose this as a career, you had to have known to some extent you’d get bantered.
3. If you don’t love football, (or at least appreciate that a lot of people do). Depending on your role, this job could be 6 or 7 days a week, any hour required, any adhoc duties above and beyond your job description. You’ll miss weddings, birthdays, first steps. Even if you have a Mon-Fri 9 to 5 contract (unlikely), you’ll be working alongside guys who earn more money in a week than most of us would dream of earning in a year. Your day to day tasks, your budget and your job security are all dependent on the fragile performance outcome of matches. So if you don’t give a shit about the result, if you don’t think it’s kinda cool that you do what you do, or if you don’t get that the players are some people’s heroes, it’s going to be a long ass season for you.
Please, please don’t get me wrong, I have at least twice as many reasons why women should work in football, why anyone should!! But that’s easy; saying the things no one usually says out loud, much harder. I know I’m not alone with my reasons, but I also know this is a mine field most would avoid walking across. It may as well be me.