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Obligatory women on sport tv panels

First of all, I’m not anti women, I married one.

As long as my dinner’s on the table, before she finishes the ironing, I’ve no complaints.

But every football, Rugby, Cricket, you name it, sporting event, now has to have the obligatory women “expert” on it, or in the case of the Scotland game today, two of them

Don’t get me wrong there are some excellent ones, but is it a sign of these woke times, that you now have to have a mix of gender, on every sports tv panel, irrespective of their sporting knowledge ?



  • If a football pundit is informative and clearly knows their stuff I dont care if a squirrel with two heads sit in the studio!

  • ....I'd be slightly concerned if a squirrel with two heads starting sitting in the studio.

    The point is what do they add, as female ex-footballers. They know their football, and they presumably appeal to a different demographic.

    However there are a lot of ex-footballers who are quite insightful and have experience of the really big competitions and occasions who might bring more relevant insight into the matches and the players.

    So for me it comes down to are they there because they are the best, or because they tick other boxes.

    The jury is out for me. Although some of the male pundits dont come across well, so you take your pick.

  • Just switched the radio on to bbc 5 live for Spain game, and would you Adam & Eve it, the alternative female expert is on here too.

  • Karen Carney is excellent. I was listening to her earlier, and she was coming up with quite a few interesting things. Tactically very switched on.

    I like her. I like Alex Scott too. Both know their stuff. The latter has done a media degree. Carney has a Masters Degree in Sports Psychology.

    Carney played in 4 World Cups. Has 144 international caps. The youngest England international. and 12 major honours. She is an England Football Hall of Famer.

    Scott played 140 times for England. Also in the Hall of Fame, 20 major honours. and a degree is Sports Journalism and Broadcasting.

    Kelly Kerr, who was on the BBC Panel for the Scotland game, earlier, was until recently the Scotland Women's coach. She holds a UEFA Pro licence - which is more than most of the panelists on TV.

    So excuse me if I think it's great to have these women talking, and bringing a difference perspective to the games. I'd sooner listen to them than half the male clowns they have on.

  • edited June 14

    I've listened to the same pundits and havent found them very insightful at all, its just stating the obvious with little insight. some of the male pundits are not much better.

    It comes down to I'd respect Steven Gerrard;s opinion more than Carney's or Scott's unless it was on women's football.

  • Pabs you watching GB news loving it I am!

  • Rod liddle barny Army!

  • Personally, I find the female pundits - on the whole - a lot better than some of their male counterparts.

    Alex Scott is excellent and IMO provides a far more meaningful insight into the game than some of the male pundits - Mark Lawrenson, Robbie Savage, Phil Thompson, Chris Sutton... to name a few.

  • As I said, there are some excellent women pundits,

    The fact remains, especially in these “woke” times, that any sports panel now have to have at least one female, to tick the pc compliance box

  • edited June 15

    This is an interesting debate.

    We have long had an issue with false equivalence in the media in this country. For example, you will often see a debate about climate change, with a scientist making the case for, and someone wholly unqualified - such as an MP, or a journalist - claiming global warming is bobbins.

    It's done in the interests of 'balance', but it is clumsily done, feels forced, and doesn't really help in the grand scheme of things.

    That is how I feel about female pundits on men's football. With the greatest of respects, I don't care if a woman has been to 4 Women's World Cups or whatever, it is not the same as the men's game. The technical and physical levels are a world apart. You've only got to watch one match in each to realise the difference is stark. At the end of the day, I want to hear from someone who has been there and done it at that level. For me, that precludes a woman from being a pundit on elite men's football.

    It works the other way by the way. I don't want Alan Shearer, or Mark Lawrenson, or Jermaine Jenas giving me the lowdown on the Women's Super League. What do they know? I want to hear from the women who play and manage in it, they are the ones who have the authentic, lived-in experience. Let's not insult them by having a load of unqualified blokes taking their jobs. There's no need.

    Presenting is a different matter. A good presenter is a good presenter, regardless of gender. Pougatch, Logan, Lineker, Oatley, Humphrey, Scott - all excellent at what they do.

    It's a very nuanced debate, opinions will vary.

  • I take it all back. 4 excellent guys on ITV’s panel for tonight’s France v Germany game. 👏

  • @J4cka

    Unlike a lot of people I don't really hold football pundits or commentators to a very high esteem.

    I don't know why anyone would really. There all the same, ex footballers who don't know any more about football analysis than regular fans but nonetheless it's been a bloody boys club for way too ****** long.

    So quite frankly I'm all for more women in football commentating and punditry. I much prefer listening to someone like Alex Scott than the same old useless annoying tossers like Keown, Phil Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Sourness etc.

  • Lee Dixon is a good commentator but there are far too few like him that I will happily listen to.

    I’m not entirely sure I agree with Vieira and his assessment of the potential for Italy to win the tournament.

    I get the feeling that they’ll go far despite his reservations based on the opposition that they’ve faced. There’s a certain swagger about their play that is undeniable and, so far irrepressible.

    But I haven’t lifted any World Cups or European Cups in my time so who am I to say.

  • When a woman has hundread caps that’s who I want to listen to commentating on women’s football.and not on premier league football!

  • How could you put a woman next to someone like Grahame sourness and talk about football no disrespect but iff that’s the case vid like to go and debate next to sourness I’ve got as much right as the woman who hasn’t warrant anything different to me

  • edited June 19

    Bit harsh it was a reasonable answer, to many ex players talk a load of crap on screen so no worse than women, personally I think they might as well put cartoons on midway through a game. I can watch a game and make my own opinions anyway, most are usually biased one way or another personally don’t listen to them, only watch for replays anyway. To many presenters on show these days don’t need them, it’s the tossers that commentate that spoil games for me.

  • yep, the women panelist know feck all about the men's game.

    Misogynist shitebags, plain and simple. It is the same bloody game they play, with the same rules. They do the same badges to become coaches - and a lot of them are more qualified than any of the male counterparts on those sofas, understand tactics and managing teams better than those that have never tried it.

    Women are more likely, due to the poor pay in the game, to travel around the world to play, experiencing a more rounded game, playing different styles and learn to be more multi-cultural in their outlook.

    There's no LGBT discrimination. Less racism reported. They dont dive or fake injury.

    And why shouldnt Megan want pay parity? Women put in the same amount of work - the game lasts the same amount of time. They train the same amount - yet often have lesser facilities than the men. They get the same injuries.

    You look at some of the crowds and viewing figures in the NWSL, and they are bigger than a lot of the games seen in Leagues 1 and 2 here, and leagues across Europe.

    And, Margaret Purce, executive director of the Black Women's Player Collective, made a very good point when talking to Congress recently on the pay-parity question.

    "You would never expect a flower to bloom without water. But women in sport who have been denied water, sunlight, and soil are somehow expected to blossom. Invest in women, then let's talk again when you see the return."

    Next you'll be saying that there shouldn't be female comedians or politicians because they don't understand men's sense of humour or life issues. 🙄


  • Some good points there @Mark_Jack_London - shame you had to end it with an insult to anyone with a different view though.

  • This is probably a futile attempt and will end up offending everyone but some things need to be said.

    The BBC get it right on Athletics. They have quality pundits who know whereof they speak.

    Kriss Akabusi. Steve Cram, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Michael Johnson, Denise Lewis and Daley Thompson to name just a few.

    Now do I value their judgements, yes but it depends on the specific experience they have. If we are talking about mens 100m/200m Denise Lewis may have some comments but its Michael Johnson and Daley Thompson whose opinion I listen closest too and value the most.

    If its women's high jumping or hurdling then its Denise and Jessica whose opinion I value most.

    As much as people dont like to admit it because it offends their sensibilities, men's and women's sports are dramatically different in quality and physical requirements and hence the challenges and lived experience.

    If anyone believes different then let's have completely open sports and let women compete in men's football. When Megan can win her place in a PL or men's international team then she can earn her money... or not.

    Women in sports get paid well because people want to see it and pay, such as the women's ATP tour, but let's not pretend that women know what it is like to play men's tennis or football or vice versa. The requiremets and challenges are very different.

  • funny you use the tennis example. Andy Murray has gone on record saying price money should be equal.

    You talk of physical differences between men and women. What difference does that make. The effort is the same.

    Just because a man has greater natural strength, that means they and their game is better, more skilful? I dont think so. I'd like to see a game between these women and the likes of you, JR. They'd run rings around you.

    And why do we need mixed sports of men and women? what exactly are you trying to prove? Me tarzan, you Jane.

    yeah. I find posts like that offensive.

  • edited June 20

    Nurses in the NHS put in a huge effort in the NHS but dont get paid anything near what Doctors get paid and they arent allowed to supplement their earnings by raking it in from moonlighting in the private sector either.

    Sport especially is about excellence and is uncompromising where margins are small and the rewards extraordinary.

    Yes men are physically stronger, fitter and more skilful and that's why they get paid more. When a woman can earn their place, then fine. otherwise no they arent worth the money, imo unless the same number of fans want to watch the sport and sponsors sponsor the sport.

    So you are conflating two different issues are women worth the same money, well if the sponsors and the fans value it equally they will be. In my opinion they are not: watching women's football is a very poor substitute and all the women's football teams I have seen would be completely and embarassingly trounced by every club's u23 teams I have seen. An uncomfortable truth for people with your bias but still true. You can feel offended because of your particular sensibilities but that doesnt change the reality.

    However that is very different from whether you know about the challenges of the particular sport, and women's football is very different from men's football and like in sprinting in athletics I give more weight to someone who has competed on the same field of battle such as Michael Johnson.

    None of that is denigrating women, its just a difference., but bigots can never understand that and always resort to name calling.

    What am I trying to prove, nothing unlike you who seem to have an agenda that everyone must be forced to agree with, or they are evil. Well I dont and insults and name calling just shows how weak your arguments actually are.

    If it helps you understand I'll try to expalin again, but with your ideology I doubt it, but I'll give it one last try.

    Men's and women's hockey superficially the same sport but when you watch it, it is very different. My wife and my daughter have played women's hockey at a reasonable level, whereas I have only played occasionally. so when we watch women's hockey I listen to their opinion, I also listen to their opinion on men's hockey as their overall hockey experience is greater than mine. However whilst they give their opinions on men's hockey they are the first to admit that men's hockey is a completely different sport from women's hockey, so their experience isnt always valuable.

    None of that means that both cant be enjoyable but they are different.

    As to your comments about young women in their prime playing against me, well just a series of sad insults from a sad insulting man with weak arguments.

    Nowadays as a man in my sixties yes sadly I must be honest you are right I would struggle despite keeping myself fit, but in my prime no, they would not have got near to me.

    Again you do not know whereof you speak, dont judge about things especially about me you know nothing about.

  • Without getting too political - market forces determine salary - unless there is an intervention to balance socialist dimension.

    Women's football generates neither the attendance or TV revenue to demand equal pay - women's tennis does. If you want to pay equally then there has to be a "social adjustment" to offset the market forces.

    @JackRaven your last post starts off with a flawed analogy of women nurses v male doctors - they are different occupations - and a very different level of expertise and education.

    So onto women on panels - is someone equally qualified when they have played the same game at an inferior levels in less pressurized environments than someone who has been there, done that and worn theT shirt? Probably..

    The other issue that I grapple with is women in TV Sports coverage are never ugly- You can be the best player in a top team - but if there is another woman in the team with a higher "totty rating" than you - then to hell with your chances of a TV role - this being so where is the equality argument?

    Anyway come on Wales - 8 Italy changes could give us a sniff!!

  • @Jackareme Not a false analogy imo as the point that was made in the previous post was that women footballers deserve the same pay because their effort was the same as the men rather than their skill levels. That is flawed imo.

    My point is that effort doesnt decide these things and the skill levels between Nurses and Doctors is at least comparable to the skill level difference between men and women footballers.

    Nurses and Doctors are both health professionals but their roles and skills are very different.

    Anyway come on Wales, but this is going to be tough.

  • Oh OK got it @JackRaven..that would mean coal miners earning more than prime ministers if effort is the metric? Personally given our Prime Ministers and political leaders - it seems more than fair! 😀

  • edited June 20

    Anyone trying to make the case that women's football is in any way aesthetically or physically comparable to the men's game - and therefore worthy of equal pay - is simply in denial.

    The tennis comparison is a very valid one. Some of the women - right at the very top of the game - are technically and physically superior to many of the men on the tour. Therefore their claim for equal billing and treatment is absolutely justified.

    As I said before, we have a problem in society with false equivalence being foisted upon us in a misguided, clumsy, and counterproductive way in many walks of life, not just sport. It actually does more harm than good to those whose cause it seeks to further.

    Dismissing this line of thought as the work of "knuckledraggers" is proper lowest common denominator debate, it only serves to demean and detract from the wider objectives.

  • Surely equal billing for women in tennis should only come about when they play five sets. At that point I would agree on equal billing.

  • The reason tennis players earn equal pay is simples - because there is enough interest and revenue in their tournaments to warrant the pay cheque. Zero to do with aesthetics or how many sets they play.

  • @Jackareme

    Not sure I entirely agree with that. The reason they get equal pay may, and I stress may, be because of pressure on the tournament organisers/sponsers to be seen to be doing the 'right thing'. No tournament organiser/sponser would want to be classed, in any way, mysoginistic.

    To be clear, I am not questioning the skill or fitness levels of female tennis players in any way. When I do watch tennis on the box, I enjoy male and female matches equally.

    To draw an anaology, how would you feel if you did an exact same job as a woman, yet were paid the same gross sum for your 50 hour week as the woman did for only working 30 hours in a week ?

    If it were the other way around, it would be classed as sex discrimination and the employer would have a court case on his hands tout de suite.

  • God help this referee if she's ever in charge of a game at the Liberty and some of you lot are there, despite the fact the best person I have seen running the line is a woman.

  • But why only Tennis @deekay ? What about every other women's sport? They all face the same social pressure - but there is only Tennis that has the viewing audience and sponsorships that go with it.

    Not sure what point you are making @Mark_Jack_London - Sian Massey has never had anything other than a warm reception from the Jack Army - including on this site - we all value her competence and professionalism - in fact I would suggest we more than appreciate her - she has been very good for us!!

    If a woman can perform a task to the same standard as her male counterparts that is awesome and there should be no glass ceiling. In the mans game the money is there to support equal pay.

This discussion has been closed.