EMMA HAYES thinks the women’s FA Cup prize money isn’t close to what it ‘should’ be as Chelsea get ready to battle Arsenal for the title.
And the Blues boss wants to care more about equal access to football and the struggles of the game’s pioneers.
Hayes was speaking ahead of this year’s delayed finale – which comes just over 50 years since the first in 1971 when Southampton Ladies beat Stewarton Thistle.
Hayes, 44, said: “Why don’t we get more bonuses? We need more investment so it can drip.
“We need more prize money for everyone, not just the winning team.
“I don’t think the bounty is anywhere near where it should be.
“With TV money too, the journey has begun but when it comes to bonuses, I don’t think it comes close to what it should be.
“It’s not like a men’s game.”
Hayes’ comments come in a week in which Clapton FC have resorted to launching Crowdfunder to cover travel and accommodation costs for their players during round three of this season. FA Cup.
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The team became the first female seventh-level team to make it to this stage of the competition in November.
However, mounting costs for the club – who say they receive no financial support – have proven to be a concern.
On their Crowdfunder Page, the team say they have earned £2,900 for their four wins in the competition with the club set to play Plymouth Argyle next.
This is in stark contrast to the £65,629 a team would earn by reaching the third round of the men’s competition.
“If we want to invest more deeply in our game, we need money, we need that money to deliver more opportunities at the grassroots level,” Hayes added.
Chelsea will take on Arsenal at Wembley exactly 100 years since the FA ban women’s soccer on the basis of believing that the game is ‘quite unsuitable for women.’
Having the match on an important day in the women’s football calendar will serve as a reminder that the game will not be banned again. Never.
Before that, the game became more and more popular among fans.
On Boxing Day 1920, more than 53,000 people gathered at Goodison to watch Dick, Kerr Ladies fight St Helen’s Ladies in a charity match for wounded World War I soldiers.
Hayes hopes the celebration of the ban, which has stunted the game’s growth, will lead to more recognition of the work of pioneers in the sport.
The Kingsmeadow boss added: “It’s about recognition of all who came first.
“I think scoring the game on an important day in the women’s football calendar will serve as a reminder that this game will not be banned again. Never.
“We are two great teams both competing to win, but the FA Cup final is about history.”
Team Hayes could win the treble of late if they win on Sunday.
But while Pernille Harder is fit, the Blues chief has revealed that she doesn’t expect Maren Mjelde to feature in the final.
“I think we’re going to keep bringing her back slowly,” Hayes said. She still needs a little more time.
“But Maren is much more valuable in the long run than Maren right away.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/16935656/chelsea-emma-hayes-fa-cup/ Chelsea boss Hayes says FA Cup prize money for women’s teams is not ‘where it should be’ ahead of historic final