Mansfield Town Ladies will be the beneficiaries of a groundbreaking cash injection into women’s football in England after the Football Association announced SSE will be the new sponsors of the FA Cup.
A seven-figure sum will be committed to the women’s game, ring-fencing funding to create a UK-wide programme of girls-only football activity.
The four-year deal means the final, which takes place at Wembley Stadium for the first time on 1st August, will be called The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final.
The partnership between the FA and SSE will help support the continued work of The Football Association to transform the grassroots provision of women’s football.
FA Board Member and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board, Heather Rabbatts CBE, said: “The FA is committed to ensuring that women’s football gets the status and investment it deserves.
“The buzz of anticipation around the FIFA Women’s World Cup is testimony to the appeal of the game.
“Similarly at grassroots, we as an organisation are committed to ensuring that there are access points for girls and women to enjoy the game across all levels and abilities.
“This agreement with SSE meets both these ambitions and gives us the opportunity to build on all that we have already achieved.
“Dreaming of playing at Wembley in the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final can now be a reality for girls too.”
Fittingly, on the eve of England’s World Cup campaign in Canada, over 100 girls aged seven to 11 from schools across the country descended on Wembley on Monday to enjoy the day, which included a coaching session, tour of Wembley Stadium and a Q&A with senior players.
Former England international Rachel Brown-Finnis was among those in attendance, and she was joined at Wembley by SSE Next Generation athlete and Blackburn Rovers forward Georgia Stanway.
“I’m very proud SSE is now sponsoring the SSE Women’s FA Cup,” said Stanway.
“This partnership with SSE and The FA will allow many more young girls to experience football in a supportive environment with girls of a similar age.
“Through the Next Generation programme, SSE has already been a great support to me in my career and I’m delighted it will now be helping many more young girls develop a love and passion for the game.”
Energy providers SSE are the new title sponsors of the SSE Women’s FA Cup, investing in the provision and profile of girls and Women’s football as part of ground-breaking four-year deal.