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Women’s FA Cup Prize Money Increased To £3m Starting Next Season

It’s a small step in the right direction to help the massive disparity in prize money between Men’s and Women’s teams in the FA Cup. Especially in the earlier rounds, most Women’s teams have lost money even when the win to this point.

Liverpool Women v Lincoln City Women: Vitality Women’s FA Cup Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

It will probably come as no shock to you, dear reader, that there is a massive disparity in the money between the Men’s and Women’s football. In the UK, the difference in the prize money for the Men’s and Women’s FA Cup was highlighted earlier this season to show just how ludicrous, and destructive, the issue has become.

According to the Athletic, the Liverpool FC Women would have earned £2,000 for their win over Lincoln City in the fourth round of the cup this season, while the Imps would receive just £500. With transportation and lodging, Lincoln City undoubtedly lost a significant amount of money just from playing in the fixture. Meanwhile, the Men’s teams earned £90,000 for a win in the same round of their competition.

To help remedy the situation, the FA announced that the overall prize money for the entirety of the Vitality FA Women’s Cup would grow from £400,000 to £3 million starting next season. It still pales in comparison to the £16 million the is distributed annually for the Men’s version of the competition, but at least it is a small step in the right direction.

“I’m delighted to be able to make this announcement of increased funding for the Vitality Women’s FA Cup because it’s going to benefit so many clubs across the women’s football pyramid,” said Sue Campbell, the director of Women’s football for the FA.

“The FA Cup, whether men’s or women’s, is the biggest and best domestic cup competition in the world, and this increased investment highlights that we want clubs competing in it to be rewarded, while also highlighting our ongoing commitment to the women’s game.”

“Women’s football continues to be in a growth phase and we are always looking to make improvements and investment to drive it forward and break new boundaries. This is certainly one of the most pleasing during my time with the organization, because I know it means so much to so many.”

While the overall amount that will be distributed annually has been announced, the breakdown of the distribution has still not been finalized. The FA is saying they will provide a lion’s share of the distribution in the early rounds according to the release from the FA, which will hopefully mean that teams will no longer lose money just by competing in the cup.

[T]his new financial commitment looks to recognise and acknowledge that increased profile and commercial interest in the competition.

Now that the uplift in prize fund for the Vitality Women’s FA Cup has been agreed, work will begin on how that money is divided and allocated, with the aim being for all clubs that enter the competition to benefit.

One commitment we will be making, is that a disproportionate amount of this new fund will be invested into the early rounds of the competition. This will ensure those clubs further down the pyramid entering those rounds, really feel the benefit of the prize money earned.