As the FIFA Women’s World Cup is reaching its climax in France, clubs around the globe are considering further investments in their respective female representatives on the pitch. Olympique Lyon, for instance, are a great example for a women’s team that is overshadowing their male peers, at least when it comes to trophies. Superstar Ada Hegerberg, famously not participating in the World Cup, has helped them win another Champions League lately. In Germany, more sponsors are mulling over whether to invest in the Women’s Bundesliga, whereas in Spain, the FC Barcelona women’s team have a reported budget of around four million Euro – way above average. Real Madrid have long been a world-famous club without a women’s side. But that has changeg with July 1st. Next season, their own female club side will turn out in Spain’s first tier, Liga Iberdrola. But how did they get there in an instance? By simply taking over a club that’s just been promoted, CD Tacón.
Real pay a mere 500k Euro to go straight to the first league
Los Blancos confirmed recently that they’d buy a women’s football team in order to be able to field one themselves from next season on. Therefore, a “merger through absorption of the women’s football club, Club Deportivo Tacón” has come into effect with the start of July. But rather than a real takeover, Real call it a “transitory collaboration”. During next season the club will play at Real Madrid City, their complex in Valdebebas. According to SportsPro Media, the deal is worth 500,000 Euro.
CD Tacón had only been founded in 2014 by a management company of former player Ana Rossell Granados. Apparently, she – as a Real Madrid membe – had always tried to make the club found a women’s team, unsucessfully, though. After fielding youth teams at first, the club took over from fellow women’s team CD Canillas in 2016 to start in the second division of Spain. Now they have made it to the first tier and the takeover by Real has been completed.
But it has been coming, since Rosell Granados always wanted a female Los Blancos side. And René Ramos, brother of Sergio, and no stranger to the famed club, either, might have a roly to play for the new collaborative women’s team, too. Rafael del Amo, who is president of the RFEF women’s soccer committee, said:
The Federation has had something to do, we thought it was very important that the best national teams have a female team, I always jokingly told my Real Madrid friends that they would not be great without a female team. I can say they are great.
With CD Tacón, Real are getting a team that had the second best social interaction numbers on Twitter for Spain’s female second division last season. Though social interactions might skyrocket now that this team is performing under the Real Madrid brand.
Women’s teams getting more attention as they beling to club brands
Real are not the only team to be quite late in creating a women’s side. Manchester United only re-launched a female first team last summer and subsequently had to start in the second division – which they eventually won.
Abbie McManus and Alex Greenwood of United are currently with England’s team at the World Cup, vying for a spot in the final. Their quarter final was watched by 7.6 million in the UK, a record-breaking audience for a women’s game.
The importance of the female football world is growing, albeit slowly. Yet, in Spain, the RFEF has promised 20 million Euro for female Spanish football for the next campaign.
20 million is not a lot, of course, but bit by bit the female football ecosystem is growing; and comercial partners will possibly see opportunities opening up.
In terms of differences to the men’s teams much has been made of pay gaps and the seemingly unfairly low amount of money the women are getting. But you have to take into account that last year’s men’s World Cup has made about 6 billion pounds in revenue, this year’s Women’s World Cup is expected to make 131 million, as Forbes report. Tatjana Haenni, formerly a representative for FIFA women’s soccer before stepping down in 2017, said to the Associated Press:
It’s really disappointing the gap between the men’s and women’s World Cups got bigger. It sends the wrong message.
She is only partly right. But maybe developments will change the reception of women’s football. And with more fans and followers, there will be more sponsors, more revenue and bigger salaries or bonuses some day.
And Real Madrid’s women’s team, actually CD Tacón in a new, more fancy and well-branded, world-famous dress, will help that development. For the sake of women’s football, but mainly for the sake of Real’s prestige, social media presence and ultimately revenue.