Lionesses Star Toni Duggan Thinks Women "Should Be Better Paid, But Not The Same As Men"
Toni Duggan wants England's female footballers to be paid more, but not as much as the men.
The Lionesses kick off their Women's World Cup campaign on Sunday against Scotland looking to capture the imagination of the nation.
Women's Super League stars earn modest five-figure salaries around £30,000 a year compared to Premier League players who bring that sum home in a day.
Duggan accepts that England's male stars are more popular and deserve to be paid more than the women.
But she backed the USA women's team calling for more money because they're more successful on a global stage than the men's side.
Speaking to the Guardian, the Barcelona Women's striker said: "I don't want to just start with money - we need pitches and facilities.Equality for me is having a pitch to play on and hot showers in the changing rooms, before we talk about the money we get.
"I believe they [USA] should be doing it because they're more successful than their men's team.
"Should we be doing it? No. Because we don't bring in the money that the men do - we're not as successful as them yet. They bring in a lot more money than us commercially and are more successful.
"When people ask me: 'Should I earn the same money as the men?' No, I don't believe I should because they're on a bigger scale than me, they have more fans, are more popular. I believe the girls should be better paid but not the same as the men."
Last summer England's men's football team reached their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 but ended up suffering heartbreak at the hands of Croatia.
The nation was gripped by World Cup fever last summer, but Duggan is adamant there is interest in women's football as well.
She moved to Barcelona two years ago and was part of the team that played in front of a record 60,739 at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid.
The 27-year-old was on the receiving end of abuse and recalled: "There's a picture of me celebrating and behind me there's actually a man putting one finger up.
"I'm not promoting that or saying it's a good thing but it kind of showed what it meant. You could feel the passion in the stadium that day. It was a real atmosphere, it was a massive game and it was only a league game.
"The fans really wanted to be there for their team - the Atlético supporters were giving us stick, they were booing us, there were flares. I'm not encouraging all of it - there are some things in the men's game we don't want - but I'm just saying it felt like a proper atmosphere."