Football as a sport, business and cultural trend is a highly visible aspect of popular culture in ‘New Britain’ and against this background a feminine bias appears highly unlikely. The competing rights of fans, professionals and investors are widely debated in the academic and popular press. In contrast, the entitlements of women players and administrators are not generally discussed. Most British people could name a male football star whether or not they consider themselves to be enthusiasts of the sport. The majority of self-confessed football fans could not name a female player. Such differences clearly pose a challenge to any assumption about football being either England’s national game, or the world’s most popular sport. What we have instead are various communities of players, fans, investors, administrators and so on with significant points of reference. Some of these groups work professionally in football, others volunteer their time and interest and, of course, affiliation and alliance network across this divide. The starting point for this project was to explain how communities of women football players are embedded within, and interact across, a surrounding cultural context over and above football as a sport or a business. Any analysis of women’s football has to go beyond attempts by FIFA and

national associations to engineer female participation. Indeed, one of the challenges for the apparently confused bureaucracies is that dealing with women as players proposes a series of working relationships across different football entities. Should women be fully integrated across the current structures or should they be treated as a distinct branch of the family tree?