Lewes forward Ini Umotong says an increase in broadcasting is needed to improve the exposure of women’s football in England.
In an International Women’s Day 2021 webinar hosted by Lewes FC and attended by FAWSL Full-Time, the striker said “There needs to be better exposure and broadcasting in the women’s game in order for it to boom.
“In men’s football you have BT Sport, Sky Sports, BBC all broadcasting the men’s game. In the women’s game you have to search and scramble to find where it’s being played.”
Umotong further addressed this gap in broadcasting exposure as she pointed out the late night showing of Barclays FA Women’s Super League highlights to a national audience.
“The Women’s Football Show is on at 11pm at night time,” Umotong highlighted. “Young girls aspiring to be footballers, are they going to be up at that time? Realistically no.”
She then added “There are three main revenue streams (in football); broadcasting, attendance and commercial sales, and broadcasting is the highest revenue out of the three and for the women’s game that isn’t there.”
Lewes FC general manager Maggie Murphy echoed the concerns of the lack of investment. Addressing the gap in the prize money between the women and men’s FA Cup competitions, Murphy said with the same funds that the men receive, Lewes could totally rejuvenate the facilities at The Dripping Pan.
“We could have much better medical care, there are so many things we could do,” Murphy added. “Level it up, even just a little bit.”
The winners of this year’s men’s Emirates FA Cup competition will land a prize fund of £1.8 million whereas the Vitality Women’s FA Cup winners will pocket just £25,000, a statistic which further highlights the major inequality in football between the sexes. Men’s clubs in EFL League One and below who simply qualify for the third round of the competition, prior to the entry of the English Premier League and EFL Championship clubs, will receive a higher level of prize money (£25,500) for winning their second round ties as the Vitality Women’s FA Cup winners.
Article author: Carla Devine