At England’s media day last week, we spoke with Toni Duggan about men coaching women, women coaching men and the equal pay.
SBNation: “The appointment of Phil Neville reinforced debate about too many men’s coaches, but he’s come in and done a good job...?”
Toni Duggan: “I didn’t really take from that there were too many men in the women’s game - I don’t care if it’s male or female as long as they improve the game and have got the right idea of pushing women’s football to the top. Phil is in charge and I want him to make us win a World Cup - I don’t care who he is, what he is or what he’s done with all the greatest respect to him. It’s amazing we can share the dressing room with someone who won it all at Man United but if he doesn’t win us the World Cup or we don’t succeed as a team, what does that count for?”
SBN: “Can you see a female manager of men’s team down the line?”
TD: “I’ve seen in the past few weeks talk about Emma Hayes and I was a bit surprised. Would they want to take that job? It’s a big jump, I think you’ve got to have that experience at the top level where you are under the scrutiny we’ve been talking about. If you’ve not experienced that it can be difficult in your first few months. Maybe someone can change that.”
SBN: “Step by step, maybe first a female member on a coaching staff of men’s team and so on?”
TD: “I don’t believe why not. If that’s the right person for the job then give them the job, whether it’s the men’s game or the women’s game. I hope someone does break that boundary and does it.”
SBN: “The topic of equal pay has been talked about a lot recently, especially with the US women’s national team, what’s your view on the whole situation?”
TD: “I have a strong opinion on it and I believe they should be doing it because they’re more successful than their men’s team. Should we be doing it, no, because we don’t bring in the money that the men do, we’re not as successful as them yet, they bring in a lot more money than us commercially and are more successful.
“When people ask me, ‘Should I earn the same money as the men? No I don’t believe I should because they’re on a bigger scale than me, they have more fans, are more popular. I believe the girls should be paid better but not the same as the men. The prize money maybe shouldn’t be the same but if you look at some of it now in some of the competitions and what it’s been previously it’s a disgrace.
“If we’re talking about equality I don’t want to just start with money, we need pitches, facilities. Some of the games in Spain … we played at the Wanda which was amazing but then the next week they’re creating a penalty spot 10 minutes before the games start. Equality for me is having a pitch to play on, hot showers in the changing rooms before we talk about the money we get. I’m grateful for the money I get because I never thought I’d be a professional footballer.”