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Wilf Zaha makes 'substantial financial contribution' to Crystal Palace Ladies FC

‘Everyone knows what Crystal Palace means to Wilf.’

Wilf Zaha (file pic).
Wilf Zaha (file pic).
Image: Yui Mok

WILFRIED ZAHA HAS made a ‘substantial financial contribution’ to Crystal Palace Ladies FC, the club confirmed this evening.

The Palace and Ivory Coast striker stepped forward with a ‘stunning gesture’ to offer funding for the development of the ladies’ amateur players. 

This week, there were reports that players from the reserve team were being asked to raise £250 in sponsorship each for a place in the squad. 

The club this evening released a statement to clarify the funding situation, and confirmed the Wilf Zaha news at the end:

“We are delighted to announce that Wilf Zaha has contacted the club to make a substantial financial contribution to support the development of our amateur players,” the club wrote.

“Everyone knows what Crystal Palace means to Wilf and he wants to give the same opportunities to the next generation of aspiring players at Palace Ladies that he enjoyed when coming up through junior teams.

“We are grateful for Wilf’s support and for the ongoing support of Crystal Palace Football club and Utilita Energy, which enables our senior team to play in the FA Women’s Championship.”

The beginning of the statement reads:

“You may have seen inaccurate media reports about the funding of Palace Ladies, so we thought it would be helpful to set the record straight:

“Our senior squad currently consists of 21 players, all of whom are contracted to Palace Ladies and either receive a wage or are paid expenses. This is made possible by the substantial financial support we receive from Crystal Palace Football Club and our principal sponsor, Utilita Energy, who are committed supporters of the women’s game and are backing Palace Ladies for the third consecutive season.

“Our budget and business and marketing plans were clearly set out in our application to join the FA Women’s Championship; in common with many other clubs, we encourage players to seek personal sponsorship to help raise the Club’s profile and build links with the business community, but it is not a condition of playing for Palace Ladies.

“All our other teams operate on an amateur basis and, as with any grass-roots membership club, players pay an annual subscription fee. To help the development of our reserve team players, we have heavily subsidised their annual membership fees.”

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Emma Duffy

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