Spanish Women Given Professional League Boost
Of course, when you look ahead, you also have a tendency to ignore what is behind you and in recent weeks, there has perhaps been a sense that globally, the Women’s game is in danger of being left in our rear view mirrors.
A point that we raised here only a handful of weeks ago and although the traction within these circles is moving at a slightly lesser pace, there are signs that the restart process is also finally getting underway.
While it is Spain that has the most recent reason to celebrate, with the news that the top two levels of Women’s football has been granted professional status – something that will only further develop the game within the country.
Unlike the Women’s Super League in England, the Superliga Femenina has trod a truly amateur path since its inception at the turn of the millennium and although it is a league that is keenly contested, it has struggled in terms of growth and rightful media recognition.
Which when you consider it has clubs representing such giants as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid within its top tier, there has been something of a disconnect between the pinnacles of the male and female game within Spain.
That’s not to say that clubs such as the above, do not back their female divisions and the fact that there are strong links between the likes of Barcelona and Barcelona Femeni, highlights the positive steps that have already been made.
However, with any competition that is amateur by nature, it limits the amount of investment that can be made and more importantly, players must juggle their work schedules alongside matchday appearances.
While for the players themselves, this is just the next step in turning their passion into a career and after signing a historic league wide collective bargaining agreement in February, it seems as if their November 2019 strike was worth the anguish in the long run.
In the space of less than a year, strike action has morphed into guaranteed contracts and now a fully professional league setup. A development, that would not have been imagined at the tail end of last year.
Fundamentally, if the women’s game is to reach the levels it deserves to get to, then it will need continual investment in all corners of the globe and although critics will argue, that these new Spanish measures should have been introduced sooner, the fact they have, should be celebrated.
Because the more nations that can call upon a fully professional league setup, not only will it benefit themselves and the chance to go on win accolades at both a domestic and international level, but it also benefits everyone as a whole.
Because, with each professional step that is taken, the clamour in other nations will only become louder and with continual progress being made, governing bodies will not want to be left behind and seen to be out of step.
Therefore, the introduction of professionalism within Spain, will only strike a match within the rest of European football’s burgeoning female community and one day, the discussion about playing as a top-level amateur will thankfully be a thing of the past.
Written by Dan Tracey
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