An open letter to Gina Rinehart
Dear Mrs Rinehart,
How good were the Socceroos! It was fantastic to watch them against Japan in their World Cup qualifier this week. Real fighting spirit.
Anyway, forget the blokes. While that was all happening, FIFA, that's the mob that runs world football, decided that Asia should have five places, not three, at the next Women's World Cup.
This means Australia can't miss out unless something goes disastrously wrong in the next three years - like the W-League collapses or half the girls retire and get jobs that actually pay enough money for them to eat.
Did you know most of the men get paid more in a week than a women's player gets in a year?
Well, have I got a deal for you. You know your fellow billionaires Clive Palmer and Nathan Tinkler like to deposit their spare change - maybe a million or three - in football.
So why not you? There's this terrific team, the Matildas. They've got just as much fighting spirit in them as the Socceroos but they're ranked higher - No.10 in the world - and they'll go into the next Women's World Cup in 2015 ranked No.2 in Asia. North Korea aren't allowed to compete because six of them took steroids at last year's world cup. Japan are the world champions and No.1 team in Asia and I'm a bit worried they're getting away from us.
People who know more than me about these things reckon the Matildas have got every chance of winning one of the next two World Cups. They've got a group of young women aged 17-23 that the experts are calling the golden generation.
Anyway, it's not just the young ones. There's Lisa De Vanna - she's a West Australian, you know, and probably the best player in the team. She's 27 and she wants to win a world cup so much she recently got in trouble with her bosses for applauding a move that will bring more professionalism to women's football. I know there are plenty more players who want to train fulltime - in fact it is a source of unnecessary stress around this team.
Now imagine if the top 25 players could make minimum wage - like maybe what they would get if they stacked shelves at Woollies. They could train six days a week, have more camps and just maybe spend enough time together in the next three years to have a red-hot go at that Women's World Cup.
So how about it? If you want to check out your potential investment, some of them are playing a friendly against New Zealand next Sunday, June 24, in Wollongong. It's a bit of a shame the superstars won't be playing - they're in Europe and the US bettering themselves and making a few bucks. But still, plenty of good young ones will be on the pitch - and it's always fun flogging the Kiwis regardless of the sport.
And it's also a bit of a shame Australia aren't going to the Olympics and New Zealand are - but I think the Matildas are looking at this as an opportunity to show those old dudes at FIFA that Asia should really have more spots at the Olympics - or at least play off with the Oceania champions for a place. Maybe next time.
I can't promise you a great financial return on your investment but I am sure if you can spare some change you'll change women's football in this country forever.
Yours in football