Women's football has in recent history been a much inferior sport to that of men's football despite the fact that it is not a new phenomenon, in fact according to the Football Association the first football match took place in 1895.  Up until 1920 the popularity of football rivaled that of men's, on Boxing Day in 1920 a match between Dick, Kerr's Ladies and St Helen's played at Goodison Park attracted a crowd of 53,000, fans with a reported 10-15,000 more people turned away due the stadium being at capacity.  In comparison the average attendance at a Super League game during the 2011/12 season was 550.  In 1921 the FA banned women from playing at Football League Grounds due to the unsuitability of the game for women, this ban remained in place for a staggering 50 years until it was finally lifted in 1971.  The ban and resulting negativity surrounding women's football obviously had a major impact on the successfulness and popularity of the sport that still lingers today.

Since the 1990s there has been a renewed interest in women playing football, the FA Cup and the FA Super League are the main focuses of the sport in England.  Since this time football has also been played at a European level with the introduction of the UEFA European Women's Championship in 1991, since 2001 this has been held every four years the same as the men's Euro competition and was hosted in England in 2005.  Germany have dominated this competition winning all but one title that Norway won in 1993, England were runners up in the 2009 tournament losing to Germany in the final.  During the Olympic Games 2012 hosted in London the sport of  football received a popularity boost with the Great Britain team performing well during the group stages, their final group stage match on 31st July 2012 saw a record 70,584 people attend to watch the Great Britain women's team beat Brazil 1-0 to finish top of their group.

The FA Super League started in 2011 replacing the FA Ladies' Premier League as the top competition in English football.  Presently eight teams compete in this competition with plans for it to be extended to include more teams and a second tier from 2014.  The Super League was originally intended to push football into the realms of professional however, this was downgraded to semi-professional with only a small minority of players being full-time, this is a stark contrast to the Premier League with all professional players and enormous wage bills.  In comparison to men's football pay in women's football competitions is meagre, rules in the Super League limit clubs to a maximum of four players earning £20,000 a year or more.  In January this year a deal was struck for the 20 players in the England football team, they received a pay increase of £4,000 to receive an annual salary of £20,000 in addition to the wages they receive from their Super League club.  The rules were also changed for players who want to continue working, they are now allowed to work up to 24 hours per week in addition to their football work as opposed to the 18 hours previously allowed.  The women involved in these talks are happy with the increase and are hopeful the recent changes will further increase popularity and following of female football.

What do you think of women's football as a sport?

Will female football ever rival men's football in popularity the way it did in the 1920s?

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