The highlight of this job is that you never know where it's going to take you nor who it might introduce you to.

Yet despite nearly two decades of eye-catching and baffling turn-ups for the books, no one was more surprised than I was to find myself sitting on a sofa next to football legend Pat Nevin in front of a 250-strong studio audience, live on BBC 5Live, being asked for my thoughts on that day's Chelsea vs Liverpool game.

My thoughts? I had none. The audience generously laughed at my dismay and the boys - host Gordon Smart, my new friend Pat and the other guest Paul McNamee, editor of the Big Issue - carried on without me.

When I watch football I enjoy it, find it thrilling in fact. I don't, though, have that passion innate in those who grow up immersed in the sport, who have a team, who speak its nuances and beauty like a citizen. Those people - like my BBC 5Live couch mates - are bilingual while I am a stranger in a foreign land.

And it's a regret - I am embarrassed at my ignorance and sad that I haven't a team to channel passion into. When I was little, boys did football and girls did dance and never the twain would meet. I remember one girl in my class who was into football and mocked for it.

There was one boy for every 20 girls in my dance school - and those boys were all brothers. So I've watched the World Cup coverage with pleasure. It feels - genuinely this time, and not merely as hype - like a crucial moment for the women's game: will the momentum gathered by the Lionesses' desperately-near triumph lead to greater investment in female football and a change in culture or will the excitement and pride fizzle back to the status quo?

Around the UK sporting bodies are pledging additional resources for the women's game, though this can't come fast enough. This week The Herald told how - for a second year running - the Scottish Football Association (SFA) performance school at Holyrood Secondary has failed to accept any girls.

The SFA said it is to introduce a new, bespoke pathway for girls but with no concrete details of when. I mean, come on. Why have girls had to wait this long?

For a sport outsider, another striking element of recent football coverage was the unhappy juxtaposition of the England women's football team's valour with the stories of Manchester United's Mason Greenwood.

One moment, on the radio news, a woman talking with undisguised pride of seeing her female heroes out on the pitch; the next an emotional member of Man U's women's supporters' group furious at the management for their handling of what has become an unedifying saga.

In January last year video, audio recordings and images were posted online by a woman who claimed to have been assaulted by Greenwood, who was then 21. Greater Manchester Police announced Greenwood had been arrested and Manchester United moved quickly to suspend him.

The player then faced a second arrest on suspicion of attempted rape and an allegation of breaching his bail conditions. He was charged with offences relating to attempted rape, assault, and controlling and coercive behaviour and a trial date was set for November this year.

Then, however, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped all charges. Greenwood's accuser had withdrawn her co-operation from the investigation; the CPS said there had been new evidence and confirmed key witnesses had withdrawn.

That was February. Manchester United launched an internal investigation and... the club's supporters waited. And waited. Finally this week, after six months of dawdling, they announced Greenwood would be leaving the club. The announcement was made by "open letter" to fans from chief executive, Richard Arnold.

Manchester United said last week that it was holding off announcing its Greenwood decision until after the World Cup final in order to spare a distraction from the Lionesses' victory or narrow loss. How gentlemanly. It didn't work.

The Spanish women's win was overshadowed by the conduct of the Spanish Football Association president, Luis Rubiales, who kissed the forward Jennifer Hermoso on the lips to "celebrate" the team's win.

So much male behaviour overshadowing women's work.

And so far, so familiar. Football finds itself again and again at the centre of debate about how clubs should deal with players accused or convicted of domestic abuse and sexual assault crimes against women.

From George Best to Ched Evans, this is a discussion that has plagued football for decades with no clear answer on what should be done when allegations are made.

Decision-making is left to individual clubs, which usually sees their exquisite footmanship used to kick the can further and further down the road - whether that's dithering over the issue, like Man U, or moving the player on in the hope no one notices, like former Scotland striker David Goodwillie, passed from Clyde to Raith Rovers before being dropped.

The issue is that some football supporters will overlook any infraction or alleged infraction as long as a man is scoring them goals. The deeply personal link fans share with their club means its success, or otherwise, is a reflection on their sense of self.

They can't acknowledge wrongdoing of players without it being some reflection on that which they hold most dear.

On the other side, senior Man U staff were focused on cash, not care. Greenwood was referred to as “a £100m asset” for the club. That's ultimately what it always boils down to for management: money.

Greenwood has tried to fudge the issue by releasing a statement saying he was "cleared of all charges", which simply isn't true. The charges were dropped, which is very different.

We can't address the issue of why more women aren't involved in football, why the stands aren't more full of female supporters, without looking at the way the sport treats women.

Literally and figuratively valued less as players, disrespected and undermined by players and clubs.

It's hard to think of an incidence of exemplary handling by a club so there's no sense that any other manager might have dealt with Greenwood's situation better.

Why - it seems obvious - is there no protocol for this from the sport's governing bodies? Why, after all these years, do incidents of violence and alleged violence against women by players become hot topics to be debated in radio phone-in shows rather than subject to established procedures that take the decision away from clubs to an independent adjudicator?

No one wants to suggest that a 21-year-old cannot be rehabilitated but what will happen to Greenwood now? Yet more moving from club to club, yet more anguished public debate when or if he's signed.

There seem to be obvious ways to tackle these incidents yet little will. I imagine I am not alone as a woman in thinking about why I would want more football in my life when it seems so little to want women.