12 July 2017
Lewes FC - the first pro or semi-pro football team to pay men and women equally ©Lewes FC
Lewes FC have become the first professional or semi-professional football club to pay its women’s team the same as its men’s team, as part of its ground-breaking Equality FC campaign.
The club, whose men’s side play in the Isthmian League Division One South and the women’s in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division confirmed the unprecedented move to widespead acclaim.
Director Jacquie Agnew said: “We believe that there should be a level playing field for women in football.
“By committing to paying our women’s and men’s teams equally, and providing equal resource for coaching, training and facilities, we hope to spark a change across the UK that will help put an end to the excuses for why such a deep pay disparity has persisted in our sport.
"Together with our owners, donors and sponsors, Lewes FC can show that equal pay can be implemented to the benefit of both women and men in sport and beyond.”
As well as pledging to equalise the five-figure budget of its men’s and women’s teams, Lewes said they would provide equal resource for coaching and other staff, upgrade equipment and facilities, and invest in local grassroots to drive participation by both boys and girls.
Lewes FC's new campaign, Equality FC, aims to raise awareness about gender inequality in football and encourage more support for women’s and girls’ football across the UK and around the world.
Women’s first-team manager John Donoghue enthused: “I am proud that Lewes FC has stepped up to launch the Equality FC campaign. Every day I see the passion and commitment our players have for the game, and I am sure this is mirrored across the country in women’s football.
“For female players to have the same rewards as their male counterparts for doing the same job is a fantastic leap forward for women’s football. This sends a powerful signal to not only our players and our club, but to the whole UK football community that women’s football deserves an equal voice and support to men’s.”
Darren Freeman, the men’s manager added: “We use the same pitch, the same facilities, the same ball. As football fans we all want our team to win regardless of gender. Parity means giving everyone the same opportunity and getting the same rewards.”
For more information, visit the Equality FC website and or check out the new video here:
Follow Equality FC on Twitter and on Facebook. To sponsor the initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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