(Reuters) - The FA Cup prize fund for women's teams this year is less than one percent of the 30.25 million pounds for men and the English Football Association (FA) must bridge this gap, Women's Championship side Lewes FC has said.
Lewes, a community-owned team from East Sussex who in 2017 become the first club with equal playing budgets for men and women, discussed the difference in an open letter https://www.lewesfc.com/article/an-open-letter-to-the-fa-board-time-to-close-the-fa-cup-prize-gap to the FA, asking them to take the women's game into a new era.
"If we are all really serious about rapidly driving huge positive change in the women's game then the FA Cup prize fund provides a powerful mechanism to do so. Let's use it," Lewes, currently ninth in the women's second-tier in England, said.
The club pointed out that the women's FA Cup winners collect 25,000 pounds while the men get 3.6 million pounds.
It added that the total prize for losing men's teams in the first two rounds (291,600 pounds) was more than that paid to all winning teams in the women's competition, up to and including the final (252,350 pounds).
"We know that you consider the FA Cup to be a good way to redistribute wealth to the grassroots in the men's game. That same FA Cup provides an ideal mechanism for financially irrigating the women's game," Lewes added in the letter.
"We're suggesting a radical increase in the women's FA Cup prize fund."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru)