Chelsea are to donate their prize money for winning the Women’s Super League to a charity which supports women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
Chelsea were named champions on Friday, when final places in the curtailed 2019-20 WSL season were decided on a points-per-game basis.
The Kshs 13.5million first prize will be given to Refuge.
Manager Emma Hayes said it is “a charity that is close to the hearts and minds of the women’s team”.
She continued: “Up until now, our involvement was about supporting the campaign publicly with a call to action, but we all wanted to do more than that and if donating our prize money can ease some of the concerns and worries people have, then it’s the least we can do.
“It’s an important message. It’s a campaign that’s really dear to us and the best way we can demonstrate our support further is by committing our prize money towards it and helping those in need.”
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, added: “Refuge has seen a huge increase in demand to its helpline and website services during Covid-19, which has shone a light on the thousands of women who need our support across the country right now.
“We are incredibly grateful to Chelsea Women for not only shining a light on domestic abuse, but also supporting us with a significant financial commitment – this is an incredible gesture.”
Chelsea were second in the table when the WSL season was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but had a game in hand on leaders Manchester City and jumped above City once the points-per-game calculation was applied.