Crystal Palace Ladies: Wilfried Zaha makes 'substantial financial contribution' to club

Crystal Palace ladies
Crystal Palace Ladies joined the Women's Championship in July

Wilfried Zaha is to make "a substantial financial contribution" to help subsidise Crystal Palace Ladies.

The Palace winger's gesture follows reports of the club's reserve team being told to come up with £250 each in sponsorship or risk being let go.

Palace Ladies, who play in the second-tier Women's Championship, said the Guardian'sexternal-link report was "inaccurate".

The club said it was "grateful" to Zaha, 25, who in August signed a new deal worth a reportedexternal-link £130,000 a week.

"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," a Crystal Palace Ladies statement read.

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 receive a wage or are paid expenses.

"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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