A Deeper Dive into FA Cup Prize Money Gap

  • Women’s football was banned for 50 years. That meant zero investment into making women’s football accessible or successful. Fewer girls were allowed to play, meaning fewer clubs to go and watch, meaning smaller audiences, and no opportunity to shine on a national or international stage which is crucial for the wide enjoyment and visibility of a sport.
  • Men’s football has benefited from public investment for decades — it’s wrong to think men’s football got there by itself. Public money went into the school field, public parks, local stadiums, coaches and teachers that have provided and supported football, almost exclusively for boys for decades.
  • The ban also permitted discrimination to fester, tarnishing the reputation of women and girls who wanted to play, placing them outside of acceptable social structures. That stereotype and reputation has lasted, and has resulted in football being judged as, by default, male. That extends into the upper echelons of entities that make decisions around football. There are not enough women, and not enough people from diverse backgrounds in decision-making roles.
  • Ultimately the people in power make decisions about what is banned. About what is broadcast. What is invested in. Decision-makers in sports bodies, in media houses, in corporate sponsors are not diverse in make-up. When they pitch ideas, products, adverts etc, they pitch to similarly homogenous rooms, they receive reinforcing positive feedback and so they make decisions based on what benefits people who act or think like them. Not others.
  • People consume what is available to them and can command their attention. Women’s sport has been starved of media attention and rarely received marketing investment. Women’s sport coverage in the UK hits 10% of total sports media at its peak — during an Olympics or a World Cup.

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General Manager, Lewes FC. Director of Equal Playing Field. Formerly @anticorruption @minorityrights @amnesty

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Maggie Murphy

Maggie Murphy

General Manager, Lewes FC. Director of Equal Playing Field. Formerly @anticorruption @minorityrights @amnesty

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