Basket
×

Your basket

Join The FSA

© PA Images

No – we don’t need to ban football chat in the office

Spurs fan and FSA Board member Chris Paouros takes issue with the idea that just because she’s a woman, she might feel left out by football chat…

“It’s very easy for it to escalate from VAR talk and chat to slapping each other on the back and talking about their conquests at the weekend.”

Nope – this isn’t a satirical headline from Newsthump, but an actual quote from Chartered Management Institute head Ann Francke on Radio 4’s Today programme.

A lot of women apparently feel “left out” by football chat in the office and “don’t like either being forced to talk about them or not being included.” Of course not all women like football. Neither do all men for that matter.

But limiting work chit-chat to subjects everyone likes might be a bit tricky since there isn’t a TV programme or book or sport which is embraced by all of humanity…. please spare me office talk about Game of Thrones!

Manchester City fans shelter from the rain in the stands – © PA Images

The comments have, understandably, drawn a lot of criticism and it’s easy to poke fun at them but as a long-time match-going woman myself, I don’t think they’re especially helpful.

On a serious level the suggestion that football debate excludes women simply reinforces gender stereotypes and, if anything, might suggest to younger female fans that football isn’t for them.

As Jacqui Oatley says: “It would be so, so negative to tell people not to talk about sport because girls don’t like it or women don’t like it, that’s far more divisive.”

If there is a problem in a workplace culture it most likely comes down to a lack of diversity in leadership in that organisation.

But it’s a problem which requires more serious and complex solutions than simply banning people from talking about the game they saw at the weekend.

Because if we beat Manchester City this weekend, you just try and stop me talking about it come Monday morning…

  • You can find out more about the FSA’s Fans For Diversity work here.

Related Articles

Football arrest stats: Home Office moves the goalposts 

Every year the Home Office releases the previous season’s arrest figures and yesterday saw the release of the 2022-23 season’s full dataset.

‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ – Did you know about the 50-year ban on women’s football?

This year is an historic one for the women’s game, marking 100 years since the FA banned women’s football from its clubs’ stadiums in 1921. The ban was overturned in 1971 – meaning 2021 is also the 50th anniversary of the FA righting that wrong.

An unknown story – the 1921 ban on women’s football

As many FSA members will know, 2021 is an historic year for the women’s game, marking 100 years since the FA banned women’s football and also 50 years since that ban was lifted.

Club crises show desperate need for football regulator

We’ve reported a lot on the crises at Southend United and Scunthorpe United in recent times but we are hopeful that a corner has been turned at both clubs in the past few days.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball