Football: The top women in La Liga

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

The smallest Football Club in La Liga in Spain, EIBAR, is run by two women: Amaia Gorostiza is the President and Patricia Rodriguez is the Chief Executive. This is a first in the Club’s 77 years’ history.

This Club achieved its long-time ambition of beating for the first time the thirteen times European Champions, Real Madrid, 3-0, on 24 November 2018, at their stadium which seats only 7,083 spectators.

Although Gorostiza admits that it is “unusual” having women occupying the two top management positions in a football club but adds that it is “nothing special.”

She attributes the success of the Club, the smallest that is competing in the top 5 European Leagues, to the fact that the players are treated as people and not merchandise! The Club operates as a family and this is one of its hallmarks.

As she points out:

“From the members of the council to the cooks or cleaners, including the entire technical team, the players’ staff and the administrative employees, we have a very close relationship….. we live like a family….. and most days we have lunch together”

The Club was promoted to La Liga in 2015 and finished ninth in the League in 2017. Gorostiza was appointed President of the Club in 2016.

The example of the Football Club of EIBAR, which serves a small Basque town with a population of only 27,000, goes to show that women can have their role and make an important difference in the cut-throat male-dominated world of top-flight football in Europe.

And, perhaps, one could add, we need more of them to add the feminine touch!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘’