England: Manager Gareth Southgate concedes national team set-up needs more female staff

© GiveMeSport England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted the men’s national team set-up does not have enough female staff

England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted the men’s national team set-up does not have enough female staff.

While speaking at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention, Southgate could only name two female members of staff currently working with the team, conceding there should be more.

“We’ve got some women that work with the team but we haven’t got enough,” he said. “We’ve got a staff of 40, so that’s nowhere near where we should be.”

“Within the Football Association we are actually very diverse, gender-wise, with 38% female, I think. But as my daughter said to me, ‘Oh, that’s good is it, dad?’ – I had to say, ‘good point’.

“For me that’s a great reminder. What world do I want for my daughter? What opportunities do I want for my daughter?

“That very quickly changes your outlook on the way that you view women’s sport and the way you view opportunities for women within our sport.”

© Provided by Give Me Sport

Southgate said he believed attitudes towards women’s football were changing in the UK, but this needed to be reflected across the sport.

“Women’s football, firstly, where I know changes [have] come is that I meet dads who proudly come up and say, ‘My daughter plays football’,” he said.

“Five years ago, that didn’t happen. I don’t know if that’s because the girls weren’t playing or the dads weren’t proud that they were playing, but that’s been the shift.

“I think [it is] far more acceptable, if that’s the right word, for girls to play now and [there are] more teams, more clubs. Dads [are] now excited by that. I coach my daughter’s team and there’s a real enthusiasm for it.

“I think that’s different to where we are currently in terms of diversity of staff within the game. We haven’t got that right with my team.”

© Provided by Give Me Sport

Southgate led England to the final of Euro 2020 earlier this year, but his side were defeated by Italy in a penalty shoot-out.

The former defender revealed he will be supporting the women’s team at Euro 2022, which will be held in England next summer.

The Lionesses begin their World Cup qualification campaign against Macedonia this evening, before coming up against Luxembourg on Tuesday.

It was also announced this week that England will take part in a new women’s international tournament, alongside Germany and Spain. A fourth team is yet to be announced for the round-robin competition, which is scheduled to take place next February. 

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