The Times They Are a-Changin': Everton and Barcelona kick-start gender equality in football
Written by: Neelav Chakravarti
Both the teams have initiated something quite revolutionary in regards to the relationship between sexes in football.
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
Just like Bob Dylan's world-famous 1964 song The Times They Are a-Changin,' football can well be reflected as an evolving sport with radical changes being introduced on a frequent basis - for the better good. Now, it looks like the Merseyside and Catalonia regions have taken matters into their own hands, with Everton and Barcelona giving women's football a serious groundbreaking boost in terms of money-making and equality with the opposite gender.
On 19th July 2018, the English side became the first professional club in their region to use their ladies for the kit launch. Meanwhile, for the first time, the Spanish giants announced that their women's contingent would join Lionel Messi and Co. on an overseas pre-season tour.
This is not some ordinary change folks! This is something revolutionary!
The likes of Simone Magill and Gabrielle George will be fronting Everton's kit launch. Whereas, the 2017 FIFA Women's Player of the Year Lieke Martens and English striker Toni Duggan will be traveling to the United States with Ernesto Valverde's men.
These groundbreaking developments introduced at Camp Nou and Goodison Park mark the new beginning of a pioneering journey towards complete equality between both the genders, in not only football but also the entire world - a push given by women's football's #Whatif campaign.
In May 2018, influential groups and figures (from the sports and media sector) met at Twitter's London office to discuss radical changes clubs, brands, organizations and people could implement to help females be more free in a more friendly and equal world.
The meeting kick-started its social media campaign with the hashtag #Whatif, with each tweet ending with the challenge: "What's Your #Whatif?"
The Barcelona Femini team will send the football scene in the USA skyrocketing along with the men's team, where they will also participate in joint-commercial activities before traveling to Los Angeles together. Dutch player Martens is also one of the best-paid female players with a club salary close to £200,000 a year.
Meanwhile, this change is not something new for Everton. The Premier League club has had its fair share of pioneering experiences. They were the first club to wear numbered jerseys, to present medals to league champions, use undersoil heating and also to win a European Cup via a penalty shootout. In simple terms, Everton can be called the guardians of modernization.
Watch: Everton's new 2018-19 away kit revealed by the Everton Ladies team
Now, the club's kit launch in sponsorship with Umbro on 19th July has added another laurel to its much-fabled history. The kit launched will be worn by the senior men's side and also the junior sides.
According to a Guardian article, Everton player Danielle Turner said, "I’m delighted to be part of this groundbreaking and inspirational campaign."
Turner and her teammates also showed off some of their skills in a special promotional video which will soon be seen in the newly-formed professional English Super League.
Both the clubs have started something new in football which could very soon be followed by other big clubs in the world. Very soon, all boundaries in terms of gender in football could be overcome and we at Khel Now hope so too.
Published: Tue Jul 24, 2018 01:32 PM IST