The addition of women’s football to Football Manager is a huge step towards increasing visibility of the game, it’s providing a platform for it to reach a bigger audience and gain even more recognition. But it’s not just an added feature, it’s a whole movement. It sends a message that women in football are just as important and deserving of attention as their male counterparts, it challenges prejudice and encourages a more inclusive community.
Over the last few years, there’s been a big push towards equality in football with more investments and coverage for the women’s game. Football Manager has it’s own impact on football, it can influence decisions made by real life clubs and shapes how fans perceive players and teams. By incorporating women’s football into the game, Football Manager aligns itself with the importance of continuing to move forward with the pursuit of equality.
Growing up playing Championship Manager/Football Manager, I had to play as a male manager and I had to manage male teams. Back then it was just a fun little game for when I wasn’t at school, but now we live in a world where many young girls are influenced by what they see on screens.
A 10 year old girl seeing themselves represented as players or managers on a game their Dad or older brother plays, could inspire them to pursue their passion for football as they get older. It creates a sense of belonging and empowerment – this sort of representation is crucial for continuing to build confidence at a young age and highlights opportunities that didn’t exist to me 20 years ago.
It’s important, however, to talk about how not everyone is excited about this movement. I’ve seen tweets along the lines of “It should be called Kitchen Manager” and “What a waste of money, you should invest towards more research for men’s teams”.
But rather than get into arguments with this small minority of players, we can use it as an opportunity to educate them on the importance of diversity.. Ask the question, how would you feel if your daughter was told they mattered less than your son?
Although equality in football will be an ongoing process for many more years, this is a massive step towards it. It doesn’t just acknowledge the progress already made; it also encourages more growth. It’s a testament to the belief that everyone should be celebrated for their achievements and contributions to football, regardless of their gender.