A Crewe Alexandra Ladies footballer believes her male counterparts should be paid more, despite many backing calls for equal pay.
Katie Nuttall told Staffslive the money generated by the men’s game means they are entitled to earn more.
She spoke out after one club – Lewes FC – announced it was going to pay its ladies players the same as the men.
The 29-year-old (pictured), from Crewe, said: “It’s got to be expected because of the revenue that is generated by males in football.
“I don’t feel it’s completely unfair, because of the popularity of the male sport.”
Burton Albion Ladies manager Jack White agrees and understands why there is such a huge pay difference, but hopes it will change in the future.
“The problem is affording it,” he said.
“The men are on thousands of pounds a week.
“That is the dream to be able to pay these players lots of money because they put the effort in.
“Hopefully, it will happen one day but it’s a long way away.”
But Katie believes the equal pay issue in sport will not stop more women being attracted to the game.
“When I was growing up ,there wasn’t necessarily professionals in women’s football,” she added.
“If you were playing and you weren’t going for an England position, then there probably wasn’t going to be a living to be made from it.
“So, obviously it does mean from a young age you have to look at other options.
“I wouldn’t say it put me off because it wasn’t something where I thought ‘well, that’s going to be my living’.”
Latest FA figures show those playing women’s football has risen from 99,491 in 2015/2016 to 106,910 in 2016/2017.
Jacky Forsyth, a sport and exercise lecturer at Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, said: “Women will still pursue playing football, but mainly for the joy of it rather than for the financial reward.”
Lewes FC started its campaign to highlight the massive pay inequality in the sport.
Charlie Dobres, board director at the club, said: “They do the same job, so why wouldn’t we pay them the same?
“It’s an evolution, not a revolution. Stop making excuses for why you can’t and start doing it.”
The club’s men play in Isthmian League Division One South, while the women are in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division.
(Picture from Crewe Alexandra women’s FC by Tony Heron)
(Additional reporting by Richard Scott)