The total prize fund for the Women’s FA Cup has been substantially raised to £3m for the 2022/23 season, which ultimately means greater investment in women’s football across England.
The FA had been heavily criticised over the amount of prize money available in the competition this season, with the winners only entitled to £25,000 for winning the final. A WSL team entering at the fourth round will take home just £39,000 in total.
In the men’s equivalent this season, teams pocketed more than double that (£82,000) just for winning a third round tie, with the pot available for winning the final standing at £1.8m.
For some women’s sides this season, progressing in the FA Cup has been a curse rather than a reason to celebrate if the lack of prize money isn’t enough to cover costs – Clapton needed to crowdfund their trip to Plymouth in December.
A new fan collective even organised protests during fourth and fifth round ties recently. But the pressure has paid off, with the FA recently announcing an intention to review the situation – a follow up announcement has now confirmed the new prize pot from next season onwards.
“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,” Sue Campbell, FA director of women’s football, said.
“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 organisation, because I know it means so much to so many.”