Anyone looking for an anthropology lesson need only have aimed a glance at Spain this week.

When a snake eats itself one suspects it is less ugly than what has surrounded Luis Rubiales this past fortnight.

UEFA have squirmed uncomfortably as the PR disaster has unfolded in Spain - Rubiales being their vice-president one suspected they may have wished to voice an opinion on the matters at hand - but it was left to Sarina Wiegman to use their stage to speak her truth.

Interestingly, it was the women and only the women who used the platform to offer a voice.

The England coach accepted her UEFA Coach of the Year award and promptly dedicated it to the Spanish World Cup winning squad - who beat England in the final just a fortnight ago - as she offered an eloquent and unflinching summation of women’s football which is, of course, simply a microcosm of societal issues.

“There is still a long way to go in women’s football and in society,” offered Wiegman.

In an interview days before the Women’s World Cup final, Celtic women’s manager Fran Alonso voiced his optimism that the national team had made front page headlines across Spain as he pointed to a summer in which he had felt the cultural sands shifting beneath his feet in his homeland.

If this week has underlined just how slow those changes can take to work their way through every avenue, it would be remiss for anyone to cast too many aspersions without checking their own parameters.

Wiegman, for example, was the only female coach in the dugout who made it to the last eight of the World Cup.

If female coaches and officials are still diminished in numbers - and these reference points are for the women’s game - by men, then there is clearly still work to be done.

When Rubiales could be vociferously applauded as he dug his heels in and then some last week by some of Spanish football’s most powerful men who said everything without opening their mouths then there is no need to look too far at how a culture of machismo can be allowed to prevail.

Mason Greenwood finding a home in Getafe this week as the Rubiales storm raged offered another telling indication of that very culture.

Where are the women in powerful positions in boardrooms, making decisions and influencing the game at the highest level? On a more base level, where are the women coaching across the board with their skills surely applicable at every level of the game?

Wiegman has proven herself to be an astute and clever manager.

She oversaw England being crowned European Champions and followed that up by taking them within a whisker of being World Champions. Her coaching credentials stand up to any kind of scrutiny yet what would the reaction be were she to be offered a managerial role in the English Premiership and take over the coaching duties at a senior male side?

When Forest Green hit the headlines with the interim appointment of Hannah Dingley, the accusation was that it was little more than a PR exercise designed to drum up interest and headlines. That Dingley had been head of Forest Green’s academy since 2019 and held a UEFA Pro license, the highest coaching award in football, was disregarded as the narrative played out.

Ange Postecoglou would not be alone in suggesting that he was a rare dressing room presence as he felt it was the unique preserve of the players who didn’t need an old guy kicking about in it asking for the music to be turned down - his words, not mine - before anyone rushes to present an argument of a woman working in a male space.

More than twenty years ago when Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez were forcing their way into coaching there were dissenting voices about their lack of experience at the top level of the game in a playing sense. They did not do too badly.

Events in Spain have allowed for a clear view at where the power lies in women’s football. It should enable a slow rethink on long-held perceptions in a wider sense.


Glasgow City and Celtic kick off their Champions League qualification process on Wednesday. It is a convoluted progress to make it through an initial mini-tournament with City kicking off against Shelbourne and Celtic starting with a game against Brondby, both of which are on Wednesday.

City have a substantial pedigree in European football given they have twice made it to the quarter-finals of the increasingly lucrative tournament while Celtic can call on only one previous experience. Two years ago Levante curtailed any ambitions Fran Alonso’s side had of going deeper into the competition.

Prize money for the women’s UEFA Champions League still looks like small change compared to the sums that are available for those in the group stages of the men’s tournament but with around 400,000 euros for participation it is not a sum to be sniffed at.


Glasgow City CEO Laura Montgomery has been shortlisted as one of the finalists in the category of “Woman of Influence” in the Scottish Women’s Awards 2023.

The event celebrates the impact women across Scotland are making in their respective industries and communities with Montgomery deserving of any accolades that go her way as City, the reigning SWPL champions, continue to flourish on and off the park.