Before I start this rant, I should point out that I am absolutely not a sexist. I was a full time house-husband before I was lured by the filthy lucre of Cardiff City, I have real respect for women, and I founded the Cardifff City Ladies FC Supporters Club.
But I have an issue with women going to games, or more specifically getting tickets for matches when they are scarce. I was reminded of this at the rugby international on Saturday. Women were everywhere, and in particular, they were up and down the aisles throughout the match, while the rest of us peered past their borrowed rugby shirts to try and see something of the game. Rugby has a far worse problem than football in this respect, but the issue is prevalent in both codes.
You see , what attracts the women to big matches is the atmosphere created by 60,000 drunken men. They heard the singing on the telly, believed the hype that was generated by the media, and fell for the line that it was an occasion not to be missed -at all costs. But unfortunately, and this is the crux of the matter, their very presence spoils the atmosphere that they seek.
I don’t care what you say, women can’t chant, and their attempt at the anthem is often embarrassing. It’s not a cymanfa ganu, it’s a bleeding football match.
Now I’m not saying they can’t go to any game. Obviously there are some games when ticket sales are slow, and they do help do boost the numbers. But generally men should be given priority unless the woman can prove regular attendance.
But it’s not the women who are to blame for this recent phenomena – it’s the men that give them the tickets. If there is a clearer example of the male species being penis-led, then I have yet to see it. More and more often, a man will take a girl to the game as part of a day out. Stop it – let them go shopping or something.
People often ask me how I am able to get tickets for all the big matches. Well, the answer is simple. I want to go much much more than you do, so I think about it earlier and I make more of an effort. I read a letter yesterday from a woman who had “been trying to get tickets for Wales v NZ for years”. Well she can’t have been trying very hard. Has she joined a rugby club? Has she stood outisde ticketline for 6 hours before tickets go on sale ? Has she set the phone to redial for 7 and a half hours trying to get through? No, she hasn’t. Sport is more important to me than you will ever be able to comprehend. It’s not like getting trying to get tickets for Michael Ball in Phantom of the Opera.
I couldn’t believe it when I was given a seat next to a woman at the Wales v Russia play off. Here I was at the second biggest game of my life, and the woman next to me had brought a flask and sandwiches. It restricted the level of abuse I was able to aim at the Russian full back, and generally spoiled my night.
Now there are the women that phone 606 every Saturday, and they get on because they are women, but their lack of real commitment is evident in every call. Yes, they might appreciate the offside law, and they can talk about players like the best of them. But I have never met a woman programme collector, and I don’t know a woman who ticks off the grounds that they visit. Is there a woman alive who tries to cure her insomnia by picking her best ever team of bearded footballers?
You see, women have more important things to do. Very admirable, and I’m glad they have a good sense of priorities. The best thing we can do as men, is let them get on with the important stuff, and stop buying them bloody tickets. That will solve the problem at a stroke because there is no way they will ever get off their arse to get their own.