QPR 0 Brentford 2. Sorry. Just had to say that again. Our first win at Loftus Road since the mid-60s is something worth celebrating. Moreso, given the manner in which it was achieved.
Yesterday’s column looked at the highlights and (mostly) positives from that game but one thing missing from that one was a reminder of footballing past. Not the QPR fans fighting amongst themselves, as has been widely reported but more an attitude on show that was, perhaps, more associated to the era of our previous victory in Shepherds Bush.
1894 – Nettie Honeywell founds the British Ladies’ Football Club “With the fixed resolve of proving to the world that women are not the ‘ornamental and useless’ creatures men have pictured”.
1920 – 53,000 turn up on Boxing Day to watch Dick Kerr’s Ladies of Preston play St. Helen’s Ladies at Goodison Park.
1921 – The FA bans Women’s football from being played in grounds used by it’s member clubs.
1969 – The Women’s Football Association (WFA) is created with 44 member clubs.
1971 – FA lifts the aforementioned stadium ban.
1991 – Wendy Toms becomes the first women named as a ‘fourth official’ in the English football league. A role followed by her being named the Leagues first female referees’ assistant in 1994, before eventually graduating to the Premier League.
1999 – Over 90,000 spectators attended the Women’s World Cup Final.
2015 – England come third in the Women’s World Cup.
2016 – Ginsters launch their ‘food for hungry men’ campaign at EFL grounds in England.
Welcome to the strange world of football, 2016.
After the important message delivered by the FA in regards to their views on the role of women in football with the five game ban handed out to Brentford midfielder Alan McCormack for abuse to an official including reference to gender, this is what we get.
At a time when child obesity is at an all time high and we are doing everything possible to encourage healthy lifestyle through fast paced sporting activity rather than fast food, this is what we get.
When the women’s game continues to evolve and becomes more popular than ever before, this is what we get. An advert that comes across as sexist and stupid. Hungry men are welcome, but hungry women better go elsewhere.
Come on. It’s the 21st century; not the 1920s. Is there really any need for this? Is it even appropriate? With discrimination against women and homophobic ranting quite rightly castigated as a by-product of darker times that needs to be eradicated, we’re offered what is at best a strange celebration of macho culture and at worst comes over as stealth sexism.
Would it have been possible for the EFL to tell Ginsters where to stick their snacks? Should they have done or is it simply an over-reaction? For all their promotion of gender issues and healthy living when it suits, to then take this style of advertising revenue seems somewhat case of double standards.
The eagle eyed amongst you have may have noticed a similar advertisement in prime position by each of the goals at Griffin Park earlier in the season. These have since been removed but were, from what I understand, part of a centrally driven advertising campaign rather than any proactive effort from Brentford to try and corner the pasty market.
Look, I’m not a complete idiot. I get that a pie, along with the half time bovril, is part of football’s rich tapestry. Indeed, I’ve had many a ‘chicken balti’ at Griffin Park whilst was once lucky enough to try the boardroom specials (and they are a culinary treat that would have Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood salivating).
But why should this be exclusive to men? Why should our female fans be deemed surplus to requirements when the chance comes to quash their hunger with these artery-busting treats? Why should progressive, family clubs such as Brentford be dragged along with, and tainted by, an advertising campaign that seems very much a relic of the past?
Quite simply, would it have been that hard to swap the word ‘men’ with ‘fans’ ?