The Football Association has long been implacably opposed to the rise of the women’s game. When it first got popular, the FA acted swiftly and banned it in 1921. However, with the rise of social liberalism, they, and other stalwarts like golf, have been forced to tolerate women playing sport again.
But, this has been getting out of hand. England Women won the Rugby World Cup in 2014, and are the current world champions. At the time, Richard Keys & Andy Grey reassured the FA it was just a phase, and the girls would grow out of it.
But this last sporting year, female success has started to motor. The hockey players won a Gold Olympic Medal, and over 9 million watched on BBC One. The cricketers won the World Cup, which astonishingly they’d been allowed to play at Lords, in front of a crowd bigger than you find at many a men’s test match.
The FA were concerned, Euro 2017 arrived, and the women were doing well. How to de-rail it when you can’t ban it? We spoke to Martin Glenn, their CEO:
“We decided to use the same tactics as we’ve used to ensure the profitable side of our game, the clubs, remain ascendant over the national team. No one could accuse us of taking out the women, if it looked like we were treating them the same as the men.”
“So I called in The England Band.”