BOOK REVIEW: Women’s Football in a Global, Professional Era

REVIEW: Vicky, FCN Founder

For anyone who has followed women’s football over the last 10-15 years, you will be no stranger to the incredible rise the sport has had.

Having been involved with the sport myself as Speed Coach at Everton Ladies alongside Mo Marley many years ago, I was witness to many inequalities in the game; from the likes of Jill Scott travelling all the way from Sunderland and back again to train at Finch Farm in Liverpool, to Everton and England Goalkeeper Rachel Brown being one of the only players in the Country to be paid, to having to wait for the junior boys to finish with the indoor pitch before the women could start training…

However, sitting down to read this book and reflecting on the journey the sport has been on really reminds you of its colossus rise in recent years and the incredible fight the players involved had to endure to get the sport to where it is today.

“Women’s Football in a Global, Professional Era” is a collection of studies about the game’s development around the World from England, to Brazil, to Norway and Japan. The variety of discussion in the book is fascinating and includes topics such as how the sport has impacted women in different cultures, media coverage of female players and how governing bodies have been forced to pay attention to developing the game, rather than leading the development themselves.

Edited by Alex Culvin and Ali Bowes, they hope that this book is used to “shape future research agendas” and is used to continue the development of the sport in the right way. Using “contributions of lived experiences of professionalisation, the process of professionalisation and the role of commercialisation and media“, the book explains “this development is not and cannot be considered as an end in itself, merely the beginning”

I would highly recommend this book to anyone working in sports and football development who want to reflect on the mistakes and successes of the past and look forward to a bigger and better future for women’s football.