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July 2017
15-07-2017, 09:48 AM,
#1
July 2017




So, this happened last week.
It's going well so far ...

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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15-07-2017, 10:01 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017, 10:52 PM by Sweder.)
#2
RE: July 2017
In other news I'm still knocking out the occasional short lope.
Two weeks in Florida, in July, was always going to be a challenge, yet I've managed three runs to date, four if you count this morning's sweaty jaunt around the chalk pits with Mr Cat and the Hounds.

Two of those were multiple circumnavigations of the lake at Coronado Springs, home to Children With Diabetes Friends for Life. It took approximately seven laps to thud out five kilometres around the concrete trail. It was the closest thing I've found to a treadmill in real life and I never want to do that again.

The third run was a sunrise beach affair at Flagler Beach. It was gloriously flat, wet sand providing the perfect platform for a surprisingly spritely session. I ended it with a salty dip, the cool waters working their magic on exhibit-hall sore limbs. I walked home with the Mrs, passing an ominous line of vultures parked atop a closed beach house. The huge birds eyed me silently, no comment necessary. 

It wasn't that bad, fellas, honest. 

   

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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21-07-2017, 10:42 AM,
#3
RE: July 2017
Saw this in The Guardian the other day, always read stuff if Lewes FC is mentioned, and also FC Vaduz from now on...  Wink

https://www.theguardian.com/football/201...-men-women
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21-07-2017, 08:04 PM,
#4
RE: July 2017
This is a great step forward, and I hate to knock it or be a party pooper, but we should remember that the men play in tier 7 and the women play in tier 3 (and thus are among the top 44 clubs in the country). Therefore it's a bit of a stretch to say that the men's and women's teams do the same job.

Still, a great step in the right direction.
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22-07-2017, 06:37 AM,
#5
RE: July 2017
(21-07-2017, 08:04 PM)marathondan Wrote: This is a great step forward, and I hate to knock it or be a party pooper, but we should remember that the men play in tier 7 and the women play in tier 3 (and thus are among the top 44 clubs in the country). Therefore it's a bit of a stretch to say that the men's and women's teams do the same job.

Still, a great step in the right direction.

I hate to correct a stats man, and a teacher to boot, but the Lewes Men play in the 8th tier of men's football. Their playing budget last season was 70k, the women's was less than 1/10th that.

Rather than compare merits, or get into spurious arguments about crowd sizes or revenues, or even banging on about how the FA shafted women so badly in 1921 that they are still light years behind the men, I prefer to look at it like this.

Lewes Football club is a parent with two children. Until now it has chosen to give all its care and support to just one, even though it claims to love both equally. Last week that changed. 

Personally, I feel your rate of pay should not be determined by where you store your gonads.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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22-07-2017, 11:41 AM,
#6
RE: July 2017
Indeed, I agree. Shameful that my cursory reading of the wikipedia page on the football pyramid was incorrect.

My point was that in the case of Lewes, the women play at a much higher level than the men, and therefore arguably should be paid more. That was probably clear, but I just wanted to spell it out.

And I think that, certainly as the level gets higher, arguments about crowd sizes or revenues are anything but spurious.

However, it does occur to me that as top flight ticket prices squeeze out many ordinary football fans, the expansion and improvement of the women's game effectively doubles the opportunity for fans to watch their favourite team. Which must be a good thing - and worth generously recompensing the players for.
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22-07-2017, 11:13 PM,
#7
RE: July 2017
Here's a fun (and quick) way to see how the story unfolded. Some interesting characters joined in our launch event online 

Storify: EqualityFC The Story So Far

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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23-07-2017, 09:11 AM,
#8
RE: July 2017
Wow, great to see responses from the likes of Barca women.

I also think the tweet "Why women's football is the brilliant blank canvas all brands crave" speaks volumes.

Has there been a sudden surge in share applications, from non-locals? Being a Lewes FC owner could now be an international political statement.
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01-08-2017, 11:43 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-08-2017, 11:45 AM by El Gordo.)
#9
RE: July 2017
I spotted this excellent news in the Graun the other day, and immediately sensed that @sweder's Twitter feed would be throbbing and jabbering like the crowd around the water cooler at Momentum HQ on June 9th.

I've been following the European Cup with enjoyment. For many years I was part of that miserable crowd who made fun of the women's game, but no more. Two things happened. One was the realisation that it's a mistake to constantly compare the sport itself to the professional men's game. In the same way, I can enjoy women's tennis without bemoaning the lack of 140 mph serves. Second thing was the excellent experience of being Ash's guest at Lewes Ladies one Sunday afternoon. I became much more aware of the energy and commitment, and best of all, twigged that there is virtually no gameswomanship -- diving, cheating, mobbing the referee... oh, what a breath of fresh air that is. (I've seen one or two slightly naughty things at the current Euro Championship but nothing serious.)

Dan makes an interesting point about relative levels but it's academic to me. Having the two main teams at the same club being paid the same seems more important than where they are in their evolution.

Well done Lewes. The Rosa Parks of football. One for the record books. Perhaps one day there'll be coachloads of reverent schoolgirls arriving at the Dripping Pan for guided tours from an 89-year-old Sweder.
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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01-08-2017, 01:06 PM,
#10
RE: July 2017
Sorry, I don't get it. I tried to watch several games of the recent Women's World Cup Cricket comp and gave up in despair at the poor standard of play. Judging by the small crowds, I wasn't alone.

Is football any different? If you can pull the crowds, then by all means, pay them as much or more as the men. But is that really the case? Isn't it false economy to pour money into women's sport if you can't get a return on that investment??
Run slow, run far.
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01-08-2017, 06:44 PM,
#11
RE: July 2017
No.1 daughter and I have been enjoying the Euros, too. My unvarnished verdict... there just seems to be a bit less action than the men's game. Fewer shots on target, fewer saves. Quite a few goalkeeping errors. These two factors add up to a similar number of goals. Individual skills are excellent - no complaints there - whether dribbling, controlling, passing or tackling. But one of the joys of football is the large number of yes-yes-yes-NO! moments. The game just seems a little short of those.

Looking forward to the Cloggies on Thu though!
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02-08-2017, 01:46 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017, 08:09 AM by Sweder.)
#12
RE: July 2017
(01-08-2017, 01:06 PM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote: But is that really the case? Isn't it false economy to pour money into women's sport if you can't get a return on that investment??

No. 

Check out When Football Banned Women, the recent documentary presented on Channel 4, which explains how jealous, bitter men in suits sat in smoke-filled rooms to conspire to consign women to the kitchen. 

In 1920's Britain, women played to crowds in excess of 50,000. What the FA did was shameful. Women were obliged to take their sport to the parks whilst men feathered their nests until they were strong enough to hold the bloated, over rated cuckoo that is today's EPL. 

What we're doing at Lewes won't address 50 years of raw injustice but it takes a small step in the right direction. It breaks the cycle of lack of funding = lack of media coverage = failure to attract investment = fewer top coaches = failure to develop players = low attendances ... and we're back to lack of funding. A vicious circle that keeps women where some men seem happy for them to remain; trapped in steerage. 

I was lucky enough to attend the ICC Women's World Cup Final at Lords, between England and India, ten days ago. A match described by Michael Atherton as one of the finest ODI's to have graced the home of cricket, and by Nasser Hussain as one of the best he's seen, regardless of gender. 26,000+ roaring their teams home in one of the finest arenas in world cricket; a 9-run win in the most dramatic climax. 

The women's Euro quarter final last Sunday, between England and France, drew a live TV audience of 3.3 million. In spite of Man's best efforts the women's game continues to rise. The standards improve year on year, so far without the histrionics that often stain the top of the men's game. The women's level of commitment and passion are matched only by their will to win. 

Where commitment and dedication are concerned, women often have to give more than men, simply to overcome decades of blind prejudice. Most top-level sport is over-hyped in my view. I find women's football a good deal more rewarding to watch.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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02-08-2017, 07:34 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017, 07:45 AM by Sweder.)
#13
RE: July 2017
(01-08-2017, 11:43 AM)El Gordo Wrote: Dan makes an interesting point about relative levels but it's academic to me. Having the two main teams at the same club being paid the same seems more important than where they are in their evolution.

Well done Lewes. The Rosa Parks of football. One for the record books. Perhaps one day there'll be coachloads of reverent schoolgirls arriving at the Dripping Pan for guided tours from an 89-year-old Sweder.

Apologies, Andy. In my haste to rebut the dismissive missive from the 1950's I failed to spot your post. The point you make is at the heart of this. Comparisons between gender performance are spurious, especially against a backdrop of historical prejudice. Men are undeniably faster, stronger. It will most likely always be thus. Why should that detract from the spectacle? The Women's 100 metres final is just as exciting as the men's, albeit up to a full ten percent slower. The athletes train every bit as hard to reach the pinnacle of their sport. 

Sport is wonderful. We should encourage everyone to take part, regardless of how they store their reproductive organs. We've received a lot of mail from parents thanking us for giving their daughter hope for a fairer world. It all sounds rather grand, but as for the dinosaurs, the tide is turning. There's something in the air just now, and for once it's not Charliecat's sweaty hummocks.

The BBC Gender Pay Gap row highlights that this is not about performance, it's about misogyny. 
It's about Man's inequitable right to place himself above all others. Frankly, with as much irony as I can drag up from the primordial ooze, it's bollocks. 

As for the last comment, I can't wait for my dotage and can only hope that particular position is nailed on. I was at training last night. The joy and enthusiasm arriving with those players lit up the dull night. One look a tiny their faces told me we're doing the right thing.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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02-08-2017, 08:00 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017, 10:46 PM by Sweder.)
#14
RE: July 2017
(23-07-2017, 09:11 AM)marathondan Wrote: Wow, great to see responses from the likes of Barca women.

I also think the tweet "Why women's football is the brilliant blank canvas all brands crave" speaks volumes.

Has there been a sudden surge in share applications, from non-locals? Being a Lewes FC owner could now be an international political statement.

Well spotted, Dan. There is (and always was) a sound economic argument to be made for championing equality. 
Yes, there has been a surge in interest and yes, the club will look to promote ownership - a paltry £30 per year; we're not exactly ordering the Helipad just yet. This was hoped for in the planning stages; the club is a not-for-profit Community-owned entity. Parity has to be paid for, and as has been clearly stated by the BoD, will not be funded by cuts to the men's playing budget. So we do need added income. Sponsors and individuals have already waded in to underwrite the first three seasons.

Another biproduct of the announcement is that women want to play for Lewes. A number of talented players have been in touch. To the manager's credit, he's not about to chuck out the very players who's brave performances and dedication have put the Women on the football map. As the team looks to win promotion to the WSL he will need to strengthen the squad. It looks like we'll take in five new players this term, all with decent playing pedigree and experience, all of whom suit the Lewes Way. 

That said, all the other teams in the FA WPL have strengthened over the summer. As ever in sport, we're running to stand still. The pressure is on the manager and his players to improve on last season, quite tough when you consider the team won a National trophy, an afternoon I'll never forget, even if I do make 89 or beyond. The heat is on.

A rather lovely thing occurred last week. Regency Coaches, operators of Brighton and Hove Buses, got in touch. They love Equality FC - it fits their inclusive ethos and they want to be seen to be a part of it. They've taken back-of-shirt sponsorship (front of shirt is Equality FC) for a tidy if undisclosed sum. They also want to wrap one of their buses (on the Brighton to Lewes route) with Equality FC branding. They do this routinely for other ventures they like the look of, naming each bus after a famous son or daughter of the city. 'Ours' will most likely be called the Jacquie Agnew, after the woman who took the club's women's team from obscurity to the Premier League.

Others are in the pipeline, keen to back this positive and rather timely move. The right thing to do and makes sound economic sense? 
Sounds like a 'win-win' to me.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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02-08-2017, 12:25 PM,
#15
RE: July 2017
(02-08-2017, 01:46 AM)Sweder Wrote:
(01-08-2017, 01:06 PM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote: But is that really the case? Isn't it false economy to pour money into women's sport if you can't get a return on that investment??

No. 
...
Where commitment and dedication are concerned, women often have to give more than men, simply to overcome decades of blind prejudice. Most top-level sport is over-hyped in my view. I find women's football a good deal more rewarding to watch.

Happy to be part of the experiment, then. I've signed up, and am now a co-owner. Looking forward to see how we progress!
Run slow, run far.
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04-08-2017, 03:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-08-2017, 03:40 AM by Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man.)
#16
RE: July 2017
So two pieces of good news you'll be thrilled to hear about, then. The Australian Women's football team, The Matildas, have beaten Brazil 6 -1 (yes, beaten Brazil, 6 bloody 1!) to win the Tournament of Nations in California; and in cricket news, Cricket Australia has increased the pay for contracted women players from $7.5M to $55.2M. That means that the women, whilst still a long way behind the men, can at least make a reasonable living from the game.

Progress, I'd say.
Run slow, run far.
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05-08-2017, 09:55 AM,
#17
RE: July 2017
Progress indeed. The Matildas have rocked the world of women's football this week. Brazil, whils not exactly top ranked, are considered one of the better teams. It's a marker that England's players and management would do well to heed. They badly under-performed in their WEURO semi-final, well beaten by an impressive Dutch side.

Did I also read that the Aussie men have put their toys back in their pram over pay?
I hope so, as the Ashes should be rather good this year, with neither side settled or on top form as yet.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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05-08-2017, 12:39 PM,
#18
RE: July 2017
(02-08-2017, 07:34 AM)Sweder Wrote: The BBC Gender Pay Gap row highlights that this is not about performance, it's about misogyny. 
It's about Man's inequitable right to place himself above all others.

I agree with almost everything said apart from the above, and particularly "misogyny". I don't want to feel the rough side of your tongue (as it were) but the issue is not a hatred of women.  Most HR departments I've cowered beneath are run largely by women, and I don't believe they are likely to be misogynistic. Their job is to manage the salary bill, and will negotiate salaries in the interests of the company. What seems to happen is that women tend to be less aggressive and less confident in these situations. As indeed are many men, including me. I'm terrible at negotiating, which is why I'm paid less than most in my work area (including several women). If a person agrees to accept a lower salary, it's unlikely that an employer will insist they are paid more.

Gary Lineker, in his slightly embarrassed tweet, had it right when he said "I blame my agent". I thought it was no coincidence that another footballer, Alan Shearer appeared high in the list, despite doing almost nothing for the BBC apart from droning away on MOTD for a few minutes on most Saturdays during the football season. Agents, especially footballers' and high profile celebs' agents are shamelessly aggressive, and they get the top deals. I'm pretty sure that the best-paid BBC people will be the ones with managers and agents.
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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07-08-2017, 08:46 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-08-2017, 08:47 PM by Sweder.)
#19
RE: July 2017
I take your point about HR departments mate. I'm truly blessed, in that I've never had to deal with one.
That I said I've never been much bothered about my salary. Freedom to work my way, to travel, to live the rock n roll life, albeit formally redressed as Business To Business events, has always been my driver.

Some argue that because women bear children, and should therefore raise them, they naturally fall into a lower pay bracket. I think that's nonsense, but I've also seen how, in a smaller business, maternity leave can wreak havoc. This doesn't explain how two radio presenters who share a studio, ostensibly doing the same job, are paid vastly different amounts based on gender. I happen to think John Humphries is a curmudgeonly bore not fit to lace Jane Garvey's trainers, yet the gulf between their salaries, in favour of Humphries, is jaw-dropping.

I can't agree on misogyny, at least where football in this country is concerned. What's happened in/ to women's football in the UK is the very definition of the word. Men controlling women, keeping them 'in their place', treating them as second-class citizens, repaying their duty and ambition with cruelty and abuse.

It isn't only 'hatred' of women. Forgive me, I feel churlish quoting the definition, but it's worth reading. Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women (OED).

I hear it on the terraces, even in the leafy shadows of the Pan Siro.
"I come 'ere to get away from 'em', said one red-faced barrier-prop, tugging earnestly on the thinnest of roll-ups. I point out the irony of having match days at the Pan supported by selfless volunteers, many of whom are women who love football. My words are deflected by a roll of the eyes, a shrug and a sheepish grin.

Discrimination isn't the sole preserve of men. Ethel Treagus, a life-long Rooks supporter in her eighties and someone who, as a young woman, played the game, told me. "I don't understand why there's all this fuss about the women. I never had these chances when I was a girl, why should they?'

There's nowt as queer as folk.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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