Much to the surprise of almost every official Liverpool FC social media account (we’re not counting retweets), the FAWSL is back and the Reds (women) are trying their best to muddle through a slightly-better-than-mid-table-finish. The start to the season was less than stellar, which if you’ve been paying attention to everything happening with Liverpool Women is hardly surprising.
Vicky Jepson’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Reading following a superb goal from former Red, Fara Williams. Liverpool had a bright ten-to-fifteen minutes at the start of the game but started to leave huge gaps in midfield, struggle to move the ball forward, and began to regard defense as an afterthought by the time Reading had found their rhythm at Prenton Park.
Still, it’s early days and there’s a fleeting chance that the club (two teams one club, remember?) will pour some of their seemingly infinite resources into a women’s side that’s strapped for money, players, and recognition in a fanbase that’s more than ready to step up their support.
But maybe we’re all wrong. Maybe there are club conversations already happening in the dark recesses of Anfield. Maybe somewhere between sitting around patting themselves on the back for Virgil van Dyke (a worthy thing to pat yourself on the back about!) and polishing the 2018/19 Champions League Trophy, the owners of the club are gathering their thoughts and putting together a very nuanced strategy to re-invigorate a team that was the top of the League less than a decade ago.
Because we can’t actually bug (the electronic kind) Anfield, we can only assume what was said after this weekend’s opener:
John Henry: It seems way too simple to just hand over some of our oodles of money to one of the teams under our auspices. And you’re telling me that doing this will mean we might be competitive in TWO domestic leagues?! Surely you jest!
Linda Pizzuti Henry: I know it seems implausible but we’ve run the numbers for over a year and it really does seem like that’s all it will take.
John: And this other proposal put forward about—and correct me if I’m saying this wrong —“sharing Anfield”?
Linda: Yeah, it seems like getting the women’s team in the men’s stadium—a stadium richer in history than any other in Europe—would get people out to the women’s game and give them the kind of support they deserve from both us and our fans!
John: And you’re saying that if we actually do this, if we actually try to put—hang on, let me check my notes again—put resources into the women’s side, it’ll be profitable for us?
Linda: That’s what all our research says.
John: Good god, what are we waiting for, then?!
Linda: Let’s not move too fast, we don’t want people to think we’re rushing into anything!
John: You’re right, you’re right. Tell the official club Twitter account to retweet stuff from the women’s account, but not actually post anything themselves. That’s an excellent first step.
Liverpool Women are back in action on Sunday against a Tottenham side that looks quite promising. Will there be any more support from the club before that game? Outlook not so good.