Lewes FC become first English club to give men and women's team equal pay

 
Joe Hall
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Lewes FC women's teams
Lewes won the Women's Premier League Plate in April (Source: Lewes FC)

Semi-professional football club Lewes FC have become the first team in the UK to provide equal pay to their men's and women's teams.

The Sussex club men's side play in the Isthmian League Division One South while the women compete in the Premier League Southern Division, respectively the eighth and third tiers of the men's and women's game, and both play at the same home ground.

As well as a mirroring wage bill, both the men's and women's team will be given the same budget for coaching staff, strength and conditioning support, training equipment and facilities.

Director Jacquie Agnew said the club believe "there should be a level playing field for women in football.

Read more: Why don't Manchester United have a women's team? It's a business no-brainer for Ed Woodward and the Glazers

"By committing to paying our women's and men's team 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," said Agnew.

"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."

The move marks the launch of its Equality FC campaign to raise awareness of gender equality in football.

"We use the same pitch, the same facilities, the same ball," said manager of Lewes FC's men's team Darren Freeman.

"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."

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