Six Nations tournament worst offender for gender pay gap in sports prizes, study finds

The most stark inequality between men and women in sport prize money is in the Six Nations rugby tournament, a new study has found.

Data gathered by workplace equality group Work180 found the winners of the men’s 2020 Six Nations will receive £5 million while the victorious women’s team will get nothing.

The findings come as the 2020 Six Nations tournament is set to see the introduction of a Women’s Player of the Championship for the first time.

England's women lifted the trophy at last year's Six Nations tournament. Credit: PA

Work180 found rugby union, football and snooker are among the worst offenders in terms of the gender pay gap in sporting prize money.

In football, the group said the winners of this season's men's FA Cup will receive £3.6m, with the winners of the women's competition set to earn just £25,000.

Gemma Lloyd, co-chief executive of Work180 said: “It's time that sports' governing bodies look at their pay structures and are asked what are they doing to give men and women equal pay.”

Six Nations and World Rugby have been contacted for comment.

Wimbledon champions have been awarded equal prize money since 2007. Credit: PA

Ms Lloyd added: “Our women sports stars play the same games as the men, run on the same pitches and make the same sacrifices for their careers.”

The study found the picture is much healthier in other sports, with the four grand slam tennis tournaments providing equal prize money to the winners.

In cricket, Work180 found a big jump in prize money for the winners of the women's World Cup in 2021 compared to 2017.

The prize money is set to increase from £1.2m to £2.8m - still some way behind the £3.1m England received for winning the men's tournament in 2019.

Sherrock became the first woman to beat a man at the PDC World Darts Championship. Credit: PA

Darts player Fallon Sherrock withdrew from the women's BDO Championships, a decision taken in part following an announcement from the organisers that prize money was being reduced across the board due to lower-than-expected ticket sales.

Ms Lloyd from Work180, the group behind the study, said "Some sports are to be congratulated on the advances they have made in closing the gender gap, but others are stuck in the dark ages.”

She added: "Audiences can only vote with their feet if they are offered the choice. This has a massive effect on pay and prize money, and some sports are clearly lagging well behind others.