WHEN will I ever stop taking things at face value? That’s the question I was asking myself after spending a Tuesday night on RockSport Radio’s #letshearitforthegirls pontificating about the wonderful move by FC Barcelona regarding their women’s team.

It was reported in the press and by FC Barcelona themselves that they were embracing equality at their club and, for the first time in their history, the women’s and men’s teams would travel together to play in pre-season games in the US. Let’s be fair, this did actually happen. The fly in the ointment was that the men’s B team flew in first class, while the women’s A team didn’t!

Again, it was easy to take what the club said at face value as the posed photograph of both team captains prior to take-off was taken in first class, and you believe what you see. Therefore, I am not beating myself of too much for thinks this was a wonderful step forward for women in sport. Before you get your placard out and join me for a protest, there is an explan-ation (isn’t there always!) It seems that by the time they had agreed that women and men were in fact equals in society and should perhaps be treated as equal in sport, it was too late to accommodate everyone in first class. Next question: why didn’t they hold off with their groundbreaking press release, until the content was factual?

Don’t they have further steps to take to ensure equality and wouldn’t these steps lend themselves to a more honest press call later on? Does a club the size of FC Barcelona really need to seek out press coverage? At this point, I was going to apologise for going on a rant, but I won’t. When are we going to stop this box-ticking, halo-polishing type of behaviour and actually work at putting plans in place to ensure that all people in society – men, women, boys and girls – have equal opportunities in all walks of life and are rewarded equally for the same role?

I am getting to the end of my tether with this stage-managed type of equality statement. It is not useful and doesn’t move the agenda forward an inch. In fact it puts us back a considerable way.