Wilfried Zaha is to make “a substantial financial contribution” to help the development of Crystal Palace Ladies.
The gesture follows reports of the Ladies’ reserve-team players being told to raise £250 each in sponsorship in order to keep playing.
Palace Ladies play in the second-tier Women’s Championship, and in a statement they labelled The Guardian’s report “inaccurate”.
They said they were “grateful” for Zaha’s ongoing support of the club.
The statement read: “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.”
It added: “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.
“Our senior squad currently consists of 21 players, all of whom are contracted to Palace Ladies and either receives a wage or are paid expenses.
Zaha joined Alex Scott last month to discuss where he grew up playing football, his memories against Watford and what South London means to him
“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.
“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.”
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