England ‘must win World Cup’ before seeking equal pay – Kirby

Ian Watson

Fran Kirby says a World Cup win is the best way England Women can strengthen claims for equal pay.

The tournament begins in France on June 7 and Chelsea forward Kirby has highlighted the importance of success for Phil Neville’s team.

She told several national newspapers: “Ultimately, we need to grow the women’s game. That’s the biggest issue – it always has been. Then you can talk about equal pay and everything else.

“Ultimately we are doing the same job as the men, but I understand that we’re not filling out stadiums. That makes it difficult to have that argument.

“As the women’s game improves and progresses, then they’re the conversations we can start to have.”

Kirby, 25, continued: “The USA are in dispute at the moment but they’re selling out arenas, they’ve won the World Cup and have some of the best players in the world in their team. They’re in a position to do that.

“We need to win the World Cup to have a leg to stand on in those situations. But if we keep selling out stadiums like we are, improving the game on and off the pitch, those arguments can start to creep in.”

Neville’s team face Denmark in Walsall in their penultimate World Cup warm-up match, before taking on New Zealand in Brighton next Saturday.