Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has said the increase in prize money for the 2022 European Championship is still “nowhere near what is needed”.
UEFA announced last week it would double the prize money available to teams competing at Euro 2022. The 16 teams will share €16million (£13.73m), an increase from the €8m (£6.86m) available at Euro 2017.
The prize pot was doubled as part of UEFA’s women’s football strategy, Time For Action, which aims to distribute more money across the women’s game.
Hayes claimed the increase in prize money was “not enough”, especially when directly compared to the fund available for the men’s tournament.
Euro 2020, which took place across June and July of this year, had a €371 million (£318m) prize pot. This was bumped up from the €304 million (£260m) fund for Euro 2016.
According to Sporting News, Euro 2020 winners Italy pocketed €34 million (£29.1m) in prize money, while runners-up England were given €29.75 million (£25.5m).
“It’s not enough money,” Hayes said of the prize increase for Euro 2022.
“When you consider it and look at it relatively, it’s nowhere near the amount of money that’s needed. Prize money is what has a huge impact in the men’s game and I think it’s a gesture that needs to be raised and considered.”
Former England manager Hope Powell felt the increase in prize money should be celebrated, but agreed more needed to be done.
“It’s better than it was. It’s double the amount of money so that in itself is progress,” said Powell, who led the Lionesses to the final of Euro 2009 and now manages WSL side Brighton & Hove Albion.
“When you compare it to the men it’s still a million miles away from that. But you have to start somewhere. I’m pleased they have looked at it and gone ‘the game is worthy of an increase in prize fund’.
“So they have doubled it. Let’s celebrate that and hopefully for the next Euros they will double it again and go from there.”
Euro 2022 will be held at 10 stadiums across England from July 6th to 31st. The hosts will be joined by European giants France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Russia and Switzerland have also qualified for the tournament.
Both Chelsea and Brighton are in action in the WSL this weekend. Defending champions Chelsea take on Manchester United tomorrow, before Brighton come up against Aston Villa.