Many can no longer hear the discussion that women’s football is not sufficiently rewarded, seen in the media and especially financially. Nevertheless, it is imperative to deal with this topic, especially in the weeks following the European Championship. Because something has to change in the long term so that you don’t lose touch completely in the comparison of nations.
From a sporting point of view, the European Championship was a complete success for Germany with the runner-up title and this achievement should by no means be diminished. At the World Cup next year in Australia and New Zealand, however, the German team will face completely different challenges with top nations such as Canada or the USA.
A look at the USA is enough to see what a high level of professionalism can achieve. Players like Dzsenifer Marozsán switched to the National Women’s Soccer League to have a real challenge. “The league is different than in Europe. You are on the same level in America because every game is super hard. The league is so balanced and you never know who will win against whom,” said the German international in the documentary “Born for this”.
This is also reflected in the visitor numbers, which are between 5,000 and 10,000 at Marozsán’s club OL Reign, for example. In the Bundesliga, an average of 900 spectators come to the stadiums. In the USA, women’s football enjoys an enormous status and is on a par with men in terms of the level of professionalism.
Structurally, the sport is much further along than in Europe. Girls are encouraged early on in the form of sports scholarships, professional training and strong financial support. There can be no question of that at the DFB, even if there was an open discussion between officials like Oliver Bierhoff and players like Sara Däbritz or Almuth Schult before the EM. The premium for the European Championship was adjusted a bit, but the result was once again just another compromise.
Equality in football is still subject to conditions, although equality must be the condition, said former international Tabea Kemme recently, putting it in a nutshell.
It is long overdue for Germany to do the same as other nations when it comes to “equal pay” at the association level, because basically commercial things are not of interest here. The DFB is a registered association and therefore non-profit, i.e. not dependent on profit.
If you break down the sport, women play the same football as men. It doesn’t help to diligently express the hope that the enthusiasm for women’s football will be sustainable if you actually have it in your own hands.
It starts with regular reporting. Currently, the third division is still preferred to the Bundesliga. All Bundesliga games were broadcast via Magenta for the first time last season, but on a pay-TV platform that only a few people use.
Something has to happen within the league too. The demand for minimum salaries, such as that of national player Lina Magull, is the right approach to make the league more exciting. Currently, only players from Wolfsburg and Bayern can actually live on their salaries.
At least licensed clubs like Frankfurt or Hoffenheim have to follow suit. Of course, smaller clubs like SC Sand or SGS Essen cannot cope financially and are dependent on support from the DFB.
Overall, the level within the league would rise and catch up compared to the English or Spanish leagues. That would in turn affect the DFB team and help in the long term at the World Cup in a year’s time so that you can play for the title again.