NEWS reaches me that one of Scotland’s top clubs is about to drop the “Ladies” part of their name and become a Women’s FC. Hopefully that will encourage others to wake up and smell the 21st century.

The last high-profile British club to make the change was Arsenal. Founded as Arsenal Ladies FC in 1987, they became Arsenal WFC in July. Yet an incredible six of the 10 clubs in England’s top flight still brand themselves as “Ladies”, even although England has fully embraced professionalism.

The players receive wages,

are no doubt capable of using industrial language, yet are described as if they were playing croquet under parasols on the lawns of England’s stately homes.

The position is better in Scotland, with five of this year’s top eight having nothing to do with the ludicrous “Ladies” moniker. One of those that did, Aberdeen Ladies, were relegated and will be replaced by Forfar Farmington FC.

There are other “Ladies” clubs in SWPL2, but it is encouraging to note that the team from Perth will operate as St Johnstone WFC next season. That’s instead of Jeanfield Swift Ladies, and follows the announcement of stronger links between the clubs.

Congratulations in advance to the high-profile club which will soon announce it has become a WFC. With no women’s games on today, focus will be on Tynecastle where Hearts Gentlemen take on Celtic in the Premiership.

DISAPPOINTINGLY for Shelley Kerr and her players, Scotland slipped down a place to No 23 when the latest Fifa women’s rankings were released on Friday. The reversal comes in the same month as the side broke into the top 10 for the first time in the Uefa coefficients.

That alone makes the Fifa drop surprising, as does the fact Scotland have won two World Cup qualifiers since the previous ranking on September 1. The team, indeed, have won their last four matches, including the final Euro 2017 group game against Spain, yet dropped two places over the same five-month period.

Spain, conversely, jumped up four to No 13. However, before rushing to condemn Fifa’s statisticians it has to be borne in mind that Scotland’s World Cup qualifying activity has been less than most other European nations. Further, the two wins were against much lower-ranked opposition.

THERE have been mixed close season fortunes for the clubs which finished fourth and fifth in the Scottish Building Society SWPL1 this year.

Spartans FC Women, who finished fifth, hit the close season running with the recruitment of Paul Greig from top United States club Sky Blue as head coach. The 30-year-old has begun training sessions ahead of the earlier than usual February 11 start to the new season.

Stirling University WFC, by contrast, could be struggling to have a head coach in post by that time. There have been rumours of problems at the club, but chair Alison Mackie emerged from a meeting on Thursday night confident that the university remains fully behind the women's programme.

The head coach position – Grant Scott resigned last month and has joined Hibernian Ladies as assistant head coach – will be advertised imminently and comes with a two-year contract. Mackie, an indefatigable force for good in the game, says player recruitment is continuing despite the hiatus.