Arsenal captain Kim Little (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The FA announced Monday that it has increased the prize money for the Women’s FA Cup, beginning with the start of the 2022-23 season, to 3 million pounds per year.

In January, the FA said that there would be a “significant increase” in the prize money after being criticized for the disparity between the women’s and men’s competitions. This season, the prize money for winning the men’s final is 1.8 million pounds versus 25,000 pounds for the women.

The total prize money for the women’s cup this season sits around 400,000 pounds, while the men’s competition draws from an overall fund of 16 million pounds.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes called the disparity “completely unacceptable” while Aston Villa’s Carla Ward said it was “really disappointing” and “not ok.”

While the specific weighting of the funds has not yet been determined, a “disproportionate” amount will go to the early rounds of competition in an effort to grow the game.

“One commitment that The FA will be making, is that a disproportionate amount of this new fund will be invested into the early rounds of the competition,” the FA said. “This will ensure those clubs further down the pyramid entering those rounds really feel the benefit of the prize money earned.”

The announcement comes after UEFA doubled the amount of money available to those participating at the European Championships this summer from 8 million euros to 16 million euros.

“I’m delighted to be able to make this announcement of increased funding for the Vitality Women’s FA Cup because it’s going to benefit so many clubs across the women’s football pyramid,” said FA director of women’s soccer Baroness Sue Campbell.

“The FA Cup, whether men’s or women’s, is the biggest and best domestic cup competition in the world, and this increased investment from the FA highlights that we want clubs competing in it to be rewarded, while also highlighting our ongoing commitment to the women’s game.”