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Rachel Corsie: Slashed funding for 2025 European Women’s Championships brings unwanted negative narrative to our game

In this week's column, Scotland captain Rachel discusses the news that the Swiss government has slashed funding for the tournament from 15 million to four million francs.

The 2025 Uefa European Women's Championship will be held in Switzerland.
The 2025 Uefa European Women's Championship will be held in Switzerland. Image: PA.

The news of Switzerland slashing funding for the 2025 Uefa Women’s European Championships is extremely disappointing.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Swiss government had significantly cut funding for next summer’s major tournament from 15 million francs (£13.5million) to just four million (£3.6m).

The tournament is set to be held in eight Swiss cities: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Zurich, St Gallen, Lucerne, Sion and Thun.

Following the delayed 2021 Euros and the 2023 World Cup, it would have been hoped that the tournament in 2025 would surpass anything that has come before it.

But, with funding being cut so significantly, will that still be possible?

It’s not to say it won’t be the best yet, but what this news creates an unwanted negative narrative around the tournament more than a year before it even begins.

St Jakob-Park in Basel will be the biggest capacity stadium at the 2025 Women’s Euros. Image: Shutterstock.

As a player who is in the latter stages of their career, I have witnessed the growth of the game from when it was not at all professional to where it is now – and during that time we have always advocated and pushed for more.

It is frustrating and disheartening to see years of hard work and progress put at risk when news like this enters the public domain.

I am sure Uefa are monitoring the situation and there will be protocols in place so that Switzerland must stay true to the promises they made in their bid for the tournament.

Switzerland wanted to host the 2025 Euros, as did France, Poland and there was a joint Scandinavian bid.

The budget cuts are worrying because it risks setting a precedent of countries bidding with a promise of certain financial commitments, only to then drastically change that as the tournament nears.

The process of selecting host countries for major tournaments is already an issue in the women’s game with it currently still unclear where the 2027 World Cup will be held.

The delayed 2021 Women’s Euros were held and won by England. Image: Shutterstock.

In comparison, we know where the men’s tournaments will take place for the next three editions.

The news about the funding cut has made everyone a bit apprehensive because you start to worry the tournament might not be as good as what it could have been in many aspects.

We want the women’s game to bring in commercial venue and we want to bring in more and more fans.

But, how can we do that if the tournament is already being devalued and it feels like our platform is being reduced?

The women’s game is still vulnerable and does not need any added excuses to have additional criticism or scepticism put on it.

Jane Ross returns to Scotland squad after lengthy injury absence

The Scotland Women squad for our upcoming camp was confirmed earlier this week.

I am delighted I will be reunited with Jane Ross, who returns to the squad for the Pinatar Cup almost two years after she was last involved.

We play the Philippines on February 24 and then Slovenia or Finland in our last game of the invitational tournament in Spain.

Jane has not long returned to action with her club Rangers having been out for 17 months with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

It has been a long road back for Jane after experiencing several complications during her recovery from the serious knee injury. When you do your ACL, they often say it takes nine months to get back playing, but unfortunately, it took her almost double that.

I’m delighted to get Jane back because it means there is somebody else in my age bracket in the squad!

We grew up playing together for the national team at youth level, she is somebody who has been a constant throughout my career.

Scotland and Rangers striker Jane Ross.
Scotland and Rangers striker Jane Ross. Image: Shutterstock.

Jane is an exemplary professional. Even in the days when the game was not pro, she set the standard with her approach to her game, such as her fitness and nutrition.

She is the same kind of player now. When you speak to the people who were overseeing her recovery day-to-day they commend her attitude, no matter how gruelling some days were.

The call-up is well deserved. She has been in great form for Rangers since coming back from her injury and has scored 11 goals in eight games.

Jane is a great person to have around the Scotland squad and will bring experience to the camp.

I think we need that. We have a lot of young players who are ambitious and bring so many different qualities, but bringing in that maturity and experience like Jane has will definitely benefit the national team.

Arsenal set to break yet another attendance record

Arsenal are set to break yet another FA WSL attendance record after selling out the Emirates for their league fixture against Manchester United on Saturday.

It is not the first time the women’s team have sold out the Emirates, having done so in their Uefa Champions League semi-final against Wolfsburg last season, but it is the first time in the league.

The club are the best there is at getting fans into the stadium and have put to bed the argument that you cannot sell the women’s game.

They put the most into it and get the most back. Arsenal have shown if you spend the money then you will get the rewards.

They have a specific strategy for the women’s team and have found ways that best sells the product.