In a recent study carried out by Sussex FA and UEFA it was revealed that businesses which sponsor their local grassroots women’s football team could increase their life expectancy by up to 15 years. The study also found that those businesses tended to increase their profits by at least 150% and that business owners often had their life goals realised within six minutes of investing in women’s football. (Ed: Right now, Skip, I’m believing every word you’re telling me)
This is, of course, very exciting news for Montpelier Villa WFC who are your local women’s side and take their name from the local streets. The team has until now always relied on players’ fees to pay for the expenses incurred throughout the season including pitch hire, referees, kits and competition entries and insurance, but this naturally creates a barrier for some who can’t afford it, especially in the current climate.
However, this recent study is fantastic as previously we had relied on businesses who were socially conscious and wanted to give back to their community and who shared our values of being inclusive, independent and ambitious. Three adjectives that we feel encapsulates the best of Brighton and Hove. Thankfully we no longer have to worry about that nonsense and can focus on selling our product to the highest bidder.
“Our next item for sale in the great football auction is MVWFC, a football club that has a track record of fighting sexism, homophobia and transphobia over the past seven years in Brighton. Sussex League Cup champions and recently promoted to step six of the women’s football pyramid and will be competing in the Womens FA Cup once more this season having narrowly missed out on the most illustrious prize in womens football by a meagre 10 wins last season.”
Unfortunately Sussex FA and UEFA have carried out no such study yet, but we’re still in a position to sell ourselves to the highest bidder. With promotion comes increasing costs and considerations such as…”How much can we ask of our players financially?” And “If our players aren’t willing or able to do it then how do we make up that shortfall?” Do we market our players and their experiences on social media knowing full well many of them play football for that reason and that reason alone – to play football.
This is clearly a problem that doesn’t just affect the grassroots game. Recently in an attempt to model how our defenders should play I searched for videos of Millie Bright defending. I found out that she was afraid of spiders, her favourite movie is Step-Brothers and that the celebrity she would invite to dinner is Tom Hardy. There was only one video that focused on Millie Bright’s football. The problem faced by Bright and the Lionesses is that big brands are willing to pay for these insights however we have yet to have the same brands knocking on our door but still want to tell our players stories in an attempt to attract local businesses which is far more beneficial to everyone.
It’s been an amazing time to live in Brighton and Hove for those of us involved in women’s football. We had the Euro 2022 roadshow on Hove lawns where you could get up close and personal with the trophy and the inspiring Goal Power exhibition at Brighton museum, which highlighted the attitudes and obstacles that have been overcome by footballers across the globe. Finally, we’ve had the football with England putting on an incredible show by beating Norway 8-0 at the Amex yet it’s hard to ignore the feeling that this papers over the cracks that currently exist in women’s football especially in this city.
The hope is that once the Euros circus packs up its tent and leaves our city that it somehow manages to leave a tangible impact and ultimately, for us, that comes down to what it always does: cold, hard cash, ideally from businesses who are socially conscious that want to give back to their community and share our values of being inclusive, independent and ambitious.
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Your support would be appreciated, if you are a local business that wants to be associated with a progressive and ambitious women’s football team that also wants to reduce their tax bill then please contact us below.