Friday, September 29, 2023

Karen Carney calls for a 50/50 split from football sponsorships between men’s and women’s teams

Former England star Karen Carney believes the top of women’s football is thriving.

But she also says the Lionesses’ success is ‘built on sand’ due to lack of funding further down the pyramid.

Millions watched England in the World Cup finalGetty

But Carney says the Lionesses popularity isn’t enough to help the rest of the pyramidSky Sports

The Lionesses made it all the way to the World Cup final for the first time ever this summer despite a long list of injuries to key players.

Sarina Wiegman suffered her first competitive defeat as England manager as her side fell to a 1-0 defeat to Spain, but fans were left feeling overwhelming proud of their history making run in the tournament.

But former Birmingham, Arsenal and Chelsea player Carney believes that despite the Lionesses’ success, women’s football needs more help further down the pyramid in order to keep pushing the women’s game in the right direction.

The 36-year-old – who led the UK government’s major review into the future of domestic women’s football – told Sky Sports: “With women’s football there is a bit of ‘Insta v Reality’ where some bits of the women’s game is lovely and glossy, really good, but there’s elements that aren’t good.

“I highlighted that in the review. Players in the Championship are still on £5,000 and working three or four jobs, then when you play quality opposition, the level of competitiveness isn’t there.

“The minimum standards, the facilities, still not got enough. Female players being treated as second class citizens, that’s not my opinion, that’s what was told to me throughout this whole review.

“There’s still some real big foundations that we need to fix. The Lionesses and the top part of the pyramid is thriving, but further down the pipeline, there’s an academy deficit, it’s £88m for boys and £3.25m for girls.”

When asked whether it was the big clubs who were responsible for making sure women’s and girls’ teams get the funding, Carney said there were a wide range of sources that the money could come from.

Carney says sponsors need to make sure they know the breakdown of their investmentGETTY

Carney made 144 appearances for England between 2005 and 2019Getty

However, there was one source in particular she believes football clubs should try to tap into.

She added: “There’s a lot of stuff as well, where, if a brand sponsors a football club, well how much goes to men and how much goes to women?

“I think big brands, if they go ‘we’re sponsoring a football club’, and this is just my personal opinion, go 50/50. Go 50 per cent for the men, 50 per cent for the women.”

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