Somewhere in the statement put out by the 12 founding clubs of the European Super League lies a wonderful gem about what all of this will mean for their respective women’s teams.
As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.
Once again it is incredibly apparent that no one actually involved in any of the decisions made here or really anywhere else in the highest echelons of football have any interest in, or knowledge of, the women’s game. Or bothered checking to see if there’s already something called the Women’s Super League.
Putting aside the condescension inherent in the statement and the fact that women’s sports are once again being treated as an afterthought, there is still the issue of how exactly Liverpool Women (who just fell out of the FA Cup after a 1-0 loss to Leicester City Women) will be competing against Barcelona and Chelsea’s teams (both of which are still in the Champions League). Suzy Wrack of the Guardian hit the crux of the problem perfectly:
Also looking forward to finding out how they justify Liverpool women, who have failed to bounce back from their relegation to the Championship this season, warrant inclusion. Or Spurs women, who only this season brought the club into its main training ground. 2/— Suzy Wrack (@SuzyWrack) April 18, 2021
Club owner (that means he owns both the men’s and women’s sides for everyone following along at home) John Henry presumably received at least some mention of how this may not be the perfect inclusive statement he and the other club owners were hoping for, and we can only imagine how that conversation went. Here. Let’s imagine.
John Henry: And then of course, when everything is sorted, we can also have the women’s clubs take part in the league.
PR Person: Oh, like a charity thing! Because they need that! Because women’s sports are terrible!
John Henry: Exactly! Only we can’t say that because people get angry at us so let’s call it ‘advancing the women’s game’.
PR Person: Perfect.
Literally Anyone Who’s Watched a Second of Women’s Football: Isn’t it going to be weird to have a team currently playing in the second division of English football playing against teams in the Champions League?
John Henry: The women have a Champions League?!
LAWWASOWF: I quit.
If this seems unrealistic and unfair, you’re probably right. They probably didn’t discuss it at all.