So far this season, three games in the WSL have been postponed for unsuitable pitches and there’s no telling how many more will follow.
The decision to move the Women’s Super League from a summer competition to a winter tournament was designed to “double both participation and attendances,” but such frequent cancellations to matches are threatening to undermine this initiative.
Alex Scott says this is the primary reason she was against the FA’s decision to switch to this format. The unfortunate reality is that despite the best efforts to put women’s football on a par with the men’s game, inadequate facilities have rendered this impossible.
Whilst the majority of top men’s clubs boast lucrative underground heating systems that ensure matches are played both on time and safely, the very same women sides for these teams are not entitled to the same resources.
“At this level, you cannot afford to be postponing games every time there’s a drizzle of rain- you see men playing in the snow,” Scott says.
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Birmingham City, Bristol City and Everton all had matches postponed for either waterlogged or frozen pitches in December and more rain is likely to be forecast during the next couple of months at the very least.
Scott believes a criteria needs to be implemented that will ensure clubs are able to deal with unfavourable weather conditions in the future. This will likely require more investment which is why it is so important that people show support for the women’s game.
Fans have flocked to Kingsmeadow today to see Sam Kerr in action for Chelsea, whilst other new big-name international signings are set to take the league by storm.
If changes are to be made by the FA and the facilities improved, then fans must keep attending matches. Only 540 people turned up for Liverpool’s game against Chelsea recently and the club is unlikely to sanction any costs for ground improvement if the support doesn’t seem to be there.
As Scott says “It’s about getting more bums on seats” otherwise there may not be a match at all.