By Gregor Hynds
After finishing fourth in their most recent season, Rangers women have been giving a huge backing by the board and by Chairman Dave King.
King announced at Rangers annual AGM meeting two days ago that the board are planning to invest into the women’s team. King himself said a huge part of the reasoning for more invest is to “redress this historical imbalance.” Not just for football, but for all of female sport in Scotland this has been a huge announcement. The backing from one of Scotland’s biggest clubs across all sports could be the instrument for change, which could see more clubs, particularly in football, backing their female teams. With most of the clubs not giving the necessary backing for these teams to compete or even sustain. With the likes of Aberdeen Women nearly being relegated in back-to-back seasons.
The Media Officer for Rangers Women, Maryanne Orr, spoke after the AGM about the overall example being set by Rangers by making this move to support female sport. While talking to UWS Radio Sports Desk yesterday, she back this to help set a president for other clubs to follow. Agreeing with Dave King that this imbalance needs to be tackled and believing this will make a huge difference for the whole structure of Ranger’s women’s team.
Furthermore, Maryanne has spoken out about how the money could benefit the team itself and how the money could “maybe entice players to come to Rangers.” While Rangers in the men’s game is one of the biggest teams in the country, in the female equivalent they find themselves behind the likes of city rivals Celtic and Glasgow City FC. In addition, outside of Glasgow you have Hibernian who have established themselves as one of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. This investment could push this team to higher levels. Especially with the SWPL getting an extra Champions League spot from next season.
“Yeah a huge benefit in maybe pushing for Champions League football and that will always help the club attract players.” With the influx of money and the extra spot in Europe, Rangers Women now find themselves in a position to fight for European contention with the larger clubs in women sport. Rather than facing the idea of relegation, something which was almost an issue till the final four games of last season, where they were able to distance between them and the rest of the league.
It is not only the senior playing staff that are affected by this, but the coaching and media team are also set to benefit from this. With the money also helping to fund coaching from the lowest part of the academy system, which in term will help the future of the first team, with more committed coaches helping to generate a higher calibre of player in the coming seasons.
What Dave King has done at the AGM seems to have galvanised the drive for equality in sport. It is an example set out to push other teams to finally back their own teams and get women’s sport in Scotland back on the right path. Also capitalizing on the women’s National team qualifying for 2019 World Cup in France.