Joey Barton has proposed that some changes are made to women’s soccer to change its current status of an “inferior product”. The current Fleetwood Town manager says that changing the size of the goals, balls, and pitches in the game.
Chelsea Women’s coach Emma Hayes started a debate earlier this year when she suggested the difference in average height between men and women would support a reduction in the size of goals in the women’s game. Hayes pointed to the fact that Olympic-size hurdles in athletics were shortened by nine inches for that very reason.
Joey Barton thinks women football should be adjusted for women
Barton joined the debate by suggesting the weight of the balls and the goal size should be changed to better fit the game towards women.
“It’s a different sport though really, in essence – women’s football should be adjusted for women, physiologically, biologically,” the former Man City and Newcastle player told the Football, Feminism & Everything in Between podcast.
“The goal sizes and the weight of the ball should be [changed]. If we’re going to make women’s football better, as a spectator sport, to stand on its own in the marketplace, if you keep playing on the same size of pitches as men with the same size of football as men and men’s rules, you’re always going to have an inferior product – because men are bigger, stronger and faster than women.”
“If you tailor it, women’s football could take a lot of strides tactically and technically – way beyond its current limitations. Let’s be realistic about it. The size of a football for men’s size five say we moved the size of a women’s football down to a size four, would anybody really notice the difference?”
“No, but I guarantee you in terms of the physicality and the output, level of passes and the range of passes players some of the women players would then be able to do because the ball’s a bit smaller and the ball’s more suited to their physiological state,” Barton added.