When it comes to football, I am, as I have written previously, a staunch advocate of the women’s game.

Having been to a few FA cup finals, each costing the princely sum of £1, I find their live version accessible. The standard has improved immeasurably prior to, and post, the lionesses gallant Euro’s victory in 2022.

Yet, as I read more each day about the women’s game, as they attempted to replicate their European success in the world cup down under, I cannot help but think the games powerbrokers are, just as they have built up a head of steam, now shooting themselves in both feet.

Just a few months ago, we read the crazed calls for the women’s players to be paid the same outrageous amounts as their male counterparts.

Its basic economics and common sense: You are worth as much as you are marketable. Ronaldo signs for a backwater Saudi team and their shirt sales go through the roof, the TV rights are suddenly gold dust and the cash starts to flow into every conceivable revenue stream.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis argues that the Lionesses are not worth as much economically as the men's teamBrett Ellis argues that the Lionesses are not worth as much economically as the men's team (Image: Brett Ellis)

And this is where the nub lies: In any walk of life, be it business or sport, you must run before you can walk. Professional men’s teams have been around since the 1800s and reputations, allegiances, stadia and marketability, has grown exponentially.

A similar situation played out recently with the news that Nike were not selling Mary Earps' goalkeeping kit as it is not part of their ‘commercial strategy’. Roughly translated, this means that they would not sell enough of them for it to be profitable.

Adidas also decided to not sell goalkeeping shirts for the same reason, and I had never heard of Mary Earps until the story broke, yet I could not say the same about her male counterpart, Jordan Pickford.

Sports presenter Laura Wood has called the decision ‘weird.’ Scary Spice, Mel B, also weighed in claiming she felt ‘really angry’ which is a similar emotion felt by those of us who were forced to listen to the Spice Girls greatest hits album on loop by our other halves.

The advent of the women’s game has been astronomical but organic growth is the only option. The brutal truth is the quality is not on a par with the men’s game and that is no slight on the ladies, it is just how it is.

Their rise has been dramatic and impressive in recent years, but it takes time, and plenty of it. By screaming and shouting for more, more, more, they will do little but turn off those who buy into their overall mission as they attempt to run when they should really be but breaking into a brisk walk…

  • Brett Ellis is a school teacher.