Waterlogged Pitches Ruining Women’s Football


Birmingham City versus Everton in the Women’s Super League was recently postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. 

This fixture was originally scheduled to be played at the Sportnation.bet Stadium back in December, however a pitch inspection on the day deemed the pitch unplayable.

Manchester City’s away fixture at Birmingham City on 20th December just a week later also fell a victim of the weather, having been called off for the same reason.

Birmingham seem to be the team most affected by issues surrounding the weather and pitches.

They have only recently returned to action, holding Brighton & Hove Albion to a goalless draw and then falling to title-hopefuls Manchester United. This keeps them eighth in the table with three games in-hand.

Their last game prior to this was the loss to Leicester City in the group stages of the Continental Cup on the 9th December. 

(Photo courtesy of Birmingham City Women)

Blues boss Carla Ward spoke to the press ahead of her sides upcoming fixture against Manchester United.

Here is what she had to say on ‘postponements due to waterlogged pitches’ 

“There is no one more frustrated than me and the players because naturally we want to play games. I was very frustrated on Wednesday. 

“The weather was horrific. It’s a tough one because Solihull do a great job. They have a number of teams playing there which makes it more difficult. It’s frustrating. 

“We’re one of the best leagues in the world for the women’s game so we have to continue to strive and improve things. Ultimately that comes with the pitches too. 

“It was disappointing but unfortunately this one gave in to the weather.”

Postponements Dampening the Game

Postponements due to weather are a constant issue within the women’s game. Many clubs have been forced to reschedule games increasing the fixture list in which is already a packed schedule. 

The Women’s Super League is an elite competition in England. However only five out of twelve teams provide their women’s sides with heated pitches and a working drainage system.

This is an ongoing affair across women’s football and needs to be continuously addressed.

Over in the Premier League you would rarely see a fixture cancelled due to pitch conditions.

Women’s football deserves to be equipped with best facilities to maintain the professional standards of the game. 

Elsewhere in the FA Women’s Championship, Charlton Athletic Women were forced to cancel their fixture against London City Lionesses in November due the pitch been adjudged unplayable conditions.

NOTE: This fixture has since been rescheduled and will be played Thursday 28th January at The Oakwood with a kick off time of 19:45pm. 

[Ella Dorey (left) & Vanessa Susanna (right)]

Liverpool Deserve Better

Chelsea Women manger Emma Hayes previously described Prenton Park, home of League One side Tranmere Rovers and now FAWC title contenders Liverpool Women FC, as the ‘worst pitch’ in the WSL.

She then continue to add ‘I think the quality of the pitch – it shouldn’t be part of our league’. When the two sides met in December 2019. 

(Erin Cuthbert v Liverpool 15/12/19)

Beth England headed home in the 15th minute to earn Chelsea a valuable point after Niamh Charles gave the reds an early lead. Both sides struggled to find a second breakthrough goal after the pitch took a battering by the heavy rain. 

She also highlighted the issue of parent club Liverpool FC that they weren’t providing their women’s side with enough support. 

Emma Hayes sent out a public apology for her comments on Twitter the following morning. 

(Emma Hayes via Twitter)

With many teams not fortunate enough to benefit from top quality pitches, waterlogged turf will continue to be a problem. Women’s teams at the highest level deserve to have peace of mind, knowing that their much-anticipated fixture will still go ahead despite the weather.

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