The Football Association has announced that the Women’s FA Cup’s prize fund for this season’s competition will double. It stands now at $7,37m (£6m).
This means that the competition will witness a $3.68m (£3m) increase compared to last season.
The prize pot for a match in the third-round stage is $54,05 (£44,00) per match, up from $15,350 (£12,500) in the same round last season.
The final match’s winner will now earn $527,000 (£430,000) compared to $122,570 (£100,000) last season, the FA said.
It is the second consecutive season in which the prize pot has increased, with last season’s uplift focused on the money available at the earlier stages of the competition.
Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, said, “doubling the prize money showcases the FA’s clear commitment to the future of the Women’s FA Cup and will help us maintain its stature as the most prestigious domestic women’s cup competition in the world.”
UK Sports’ former President made it clear that the Football Association’s clear ambition is reaching equal pay, “Ultimately, we want the women’s competition to receive the same prize money as the men’s, and this new increase is a positive step in the direction of achieving that long-term ambition.”
The men’s FA Cup prize fund for the current season was confirmed in June, with approximately $2,4m (£2m) on offer for winning the final and approximately $1,2m (£1m) for the runners-up.
Those teams would also benefit from payments for progressing through the earlier rounds.
Surfing On The Wave
Last month, at the Leaders Week conference at Twickenham, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham announced that changes were being considered to further develop the Women’s FA Cup.
“We’ve done a really good job of growing the final as an event. When I first started working with the FA it was an event that got less than 20,000 and wasn’t even at Wembley. We’re now selling out Wembley, and that’s a big event for us in our calendar.”
Bullingham said that those in charge of women’s football in the country are well aware of the growth in the women’s game, but their main objective is finding the means to fasten that development.
“Like the rest of the women’s game, we will grow it [The Women’s FA Cup]. It’s just how do we accelerate it even faster?”
The funding uplift comes after a 10-fold increase last year brought the total prize fund to £3m.
It will come into effect from the third round onwards.
The second-tier clubs enter the competition in this third round, while the 12 Women’s Super League clubs, including holders Chelsea, join in round four.
The first round starts this weekend.
- Chelsea, last year’s winners, received UK£100k for winning the final.
- This year, the winner of the final will receive UK£430k, as well as the other match’s prizes.
- In the men’s FA Cup, the winners currently receive £2m.
The Football Association just took an additional step toward equal pay.
The question remains, when will they achieve this equal pay?