Off the pitch, as well as on it, it seems, Crystal Palace are increasingly reliant on star player Wilfried Zaha to get them out of a mess.
Last night, after 24 hours of less-than-optimal publicity over the club’s treatment of Crystal Palace Ladies’ players, having asked many of them to source their own sponsorship to fund their side’s playing activities, the club announced that their men’s team’s star player had stepped in with a “substantial financial contribution”.
Zaha is the club’s best-paid player, having recently signed a contract which reportedly places him on wages of £130,000 per week.
The 25-year-old, who has played internationally for England and, more recently, for his native Ivory Coast, is known to have made significant and regular donations to charitable causes from his football salary ever since he first signed professional terms at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace Ladies play in the FA Women’s Championship, and have their first game of the season at home on Sunday against Leicester City.
They responded to the news on Twitter to thank Zaha for his “stunning gesture”.
Zaha’s response? “No problem, happy to help.”
A statement from Crystal Palace Ladies, published on the club’s website, said: “In a sport that is too often shown through negative comment & sentiment, we’ve today been inspired by a stunning gesture from @wilfriedzaha.
“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.
“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.”
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As you say, absolute class from Wilfried. But why did he have to do it in the first place? The club should be ashamed about what seems to be an penny-pinching and antediluvian attitude towards the women’s team.
He certainly kept his good deeds out of the public eye…well done! But the Club should be jumping on the bandwagon that is Women’s football. In the next few years it is bound to increase in popularity and, of course, provide a reasonable source of additional income to the clubs that are fully committed to it. It will ensure that stadia are used more than 50% of the time and, in these changing times, demonstrate a commitment to equality that forcing the women to go begging most certainly does not!
if you had read the original statement from the club, you would know the answer; the SENIOR side are sponsored and the mens team also help with funding; the money Wilf has donated has gone to the reserves who like many sunday league sides have no funding; BOTH sides players are encouraged to seek individual sponsorship (£250) from local companies to help raise the profile of the womens game in the local area.
in America there are a group of fans who are $300 short of sponsoring the goalkeeping Dept (players and coaches) whixh is a great effort!!!!
Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
Well done Wilf
The club should be ashamed about what seems to be a penny-pinching and antediluvian attitude towards the women’s team.
It will ensure that stadia are used more than 60% of the time and, in these changing times.
Thanks for sharing