Euro 2022: Should we be celebrating UEFA decision to double prize money?

Women's Euro 2017: Netherlands vs Denmark

UEFA has announced the prize money for the 2022 Women's European Championships has been doubled.

The pot has risen from the €8 million (£6.8m) figure in 2017 to €16 million (£13.7m) for next year's tournament in England. The money will be split between the 16 participating nations.

The UEFA Executive Committee has also agreed to introduce a clubs benefit programme for the first time. In total, €4.5 million (£3.8m) will be distributed to the European teams providing players for the Euros, as a reward for their contribution to the tournament.

As part of its Women's Football Strategy, TimeForAction, UEFA is ensuring more money than ever is being fed into the women's game. 

Indeed, this is the highest prize pot ever made available for the Women's Euros and is certainly a step in the right direction – but is it something to really celebrate?

Gulf in finances

In the grand scheme of things, female footballers still earn stratospherically less than their male counterparts. 

Transfer fees have only just become a common thing in women's football, and wages are still kept very much concealed from public knowledge. However, cash in the men's game seems to be constantly at a club's disposal.

Nine-figure sums have become the norm in the men's transfer market and a culture has been created where clubs are seen to be failing if they haven't broken the bank on new players. 

GMS Giveaway

ENTER GIVEAWAY

Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the highest paid Premier League footballer, earning an annual salary of £26,520,000 – or £530,400 per week.

Ronaldo's monthly wages are much, much more than the highest earning Women's Super League player's overall salary.

Sam Kerr reportedly earns an annual $500,000 (£364,000), which boils down to $9,600 (£7,000) per week.

Sam Kerr

Prize money comparison

Euro 2020, which took place across June and July of this year, saw a mammoth €371 million (£318m) prize pot available for the competition. This was bumped up from the €304 million (£260m) fund for Euro 2016.

According to Sporting News, Euro 2020 winners Italy won €34 million (£29.1m) in prize money while runners-up England pocketed a handsome €29.75 million (£25.5m).

This means the Three Lions were handed more cash for finishing second in the tournament than the entire prize fund for the Women's Euros.

England Euro 2020

Another stark example of the gulf in tournament money is how much the Netherlands received for winning the Euro 2017. 

The Oranje picked up €1.2 million (£1m) for winning the entire competition while this year, each men's team was rewarded with €1.5 million (£1.2m) for every group stage win. 

Netherlands national team

Euro 2022 prize money breakdown

In 2017, the Women's European Championships had a grand total of €8 million to distribute across each stage of the competition. Here's how it was shared out:

Group stage: €300,000/£256,000 (awarded to eight teams)

Quarter-finals: €500,000/£427,000 (awarded to four teams)

Semi-finals: €700,000/£598,000 (awarded to two teams)

Runners-up: €1 million/£855,000

Winners: €1.2 million/£1 million

If the Euro 2022 prize fund follows the same structure as the previous tournament, teams will follow this breakdown in prize money:

Group stage: €600,000/£513,000 (awarded to eight teams)

Quarter-finals: €1 million/£855,000 (awarded to four teams)

Semi-finals: €1.4 million/£1.1 million (awarded to two teams)

Runners-up: €2 million/£1.7 million

Winners: €2.4 million/£2 million

The doubling of the prize money is certainly a step in the right direction for women's football, but the chasm between the two sports still remains gargantuan. There's much more still to be done before the disproportionate funding even begins to level out.

News Now - Sport News