The FA announced last Friday that England’s senior men and women players had been paid the same match fees and bonuses since January.
Regarding the matter, Manchester United Women manager Casey Stoney believes the women’s game cannot yet justify equal pay with men. Stoney, whose side launch their 2020/21 campaign at home against champions Chelsea on Sunday, welcomed the news, but claims the women’s game is not ready to demand equal pay across the board.
“It’s a positive move,” Stoney said, “I’m a realist in terms of equality. I think you get paid the same when you bring in the same revenue. Women players want the same opportunities, we want the same resources and it’s a great move from the FA.
“I think until we get more people in the stands, more revenue coming in, more commercial money coming in, then we can start talking about equal pay.”
“You look at some of the salaries in the men’s game, your talking £100,000 or £200,000 a week. How can the women’s game justify that when we get 3,000-5,000 people in the stands?
“We need to invest more money in our marketing. Get more people in the ground, making sure the game is more visible. We need to get more commercial revenue back in before we start talking about paying players more towards the equivalent of the men.”
Stoney, former Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool defender, who made 130 England appearances, said she was not sure if her views were widespread in the women’s game.
“I’m speaking for myself probably, if I’m honest that’s my view having been in the game at the top level for a long time and growing up in the game.
“We used to pay to play and having been part of teams that have completely collapsed because of lack of financial security. It’s very much a personal view, but I think it’s a realistic view.”
It’s great to see that the FA finally has decided to pay both men’s and women’s football equally, but as Casey said, it is now up to the associations, clubs and players to use this new change in their favour and increase their growth; to fully become equal to the men’s game.