Following the huge investment made in the women’s side by the Manchester City Qatari owners, it seems that apologising has become the flavour of the month at Eastlands.
You do wonder if Manchester City Women are turning into a corporate entity of the club like all the other parts.
First there was the Ayisi Bardsley incident where the Birmingham centre forward punched the City goalkeeper. A red card was shown to the Birmingham player but not the City keeper who was later charged by the FA and banned for three games. Bardsley has apologised. In the meantime David Parker, the Birmingham City manager, said the matter would be dealt internally but there was no apology.
Then there was the Tony Duggan story. She put a picture up on Instagram on derby day, pictured alongside Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal. She was forced to apologise on her facebook page, despite being also with Manchester City team-mate and United fan Isobel Christiansen and Everton captain Michelle Hinnigan.
The sexist abuse she received was unbelievable for such an innocent selfie.
“I would like to apologise to all MCFC fans for the error of judgement I made last night,” she said
“I now appreciate the significance of my actions and can assure everyone connected with Manchester City that I am proud to represent the Club and wear the shirt.”
On Sunday Jill Scott was sent off for headbutting Arsenal Ladies’ Jade Bailey who was booked for her part in the spat. Another apology came, this time via twitter.
Gr8 effort from all the girls, I want to apologise for the incident which led to me being sent off, gutted to let every1 @MCWFC down today
— Jill Scott (@JillScott12) April 19, 2015
Are the players told to apologise as they are part of a huge organisation that does not want negative publicty and wants to move quickly to diffuse any potential bad news? The ‘out of character’ card has been used twice, so far.
Karen Bardsley “Whilst I was provoked, it was out of character for me to react in that way. I’ve contacted Birmingham to apologise for my involvement.”
After the Jill Scott headbutt City manager Nick Cushing said the incident was “out of character”.
But this is the third incident where a City player will received a three-game ban in the two years Manchester City Women have been playing in the FA WSL 1.
They have had a defender sent-off on final day last season for elbowing a Chelsea player. They also injured the Chelsea Ladies goalkeeper in the same game and she ended up going to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone. They then took advantage of the young understudy who replaced the injured keeper and won that game denying Chelsea Ladies the title.
I have been watching women’s football for more than a dozen year and there has always been kicking, fighting, bad fouls and red card and public apologies have never been part of the game at all. To be fair, the media coverage was not as big as it is now with women’s football was not making news at all.
The way things are going, we will soon see the day where a Manchester City community manager actually vetoes every social media posting from the players on facebook, twitter and everywhere else and that’s not something that will be at all helpful in helping increase the interest in the game.