Pay rise for women ahead of new W-League season
THE FFA and the PFA have announced a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the W-League ahead of the competition's 10th season, with the aim of knocking off AFL and winning a World Cup.
Ahead of the Matildas' bumper double clash with Brazil on Saturday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 19, the announcement was made to raise the minimum player payment for W-League players to $10,000 per season.
That stands as a four-time increase on last season's minimum payment of $2500, with the minimum salary rising to $12,287 in the 2018 season.
Across the entire competition, the minimum W-League spend in 2018 will now stand at $1990, rising from $450,000 last season.
W-League clubs will now be required to have 18 players contracted on a minimum salary, as well as up to four players on paid scholarship deals in a bid to help grow the competition and win the 2019 World Cup in France.
"The standard of football has increase,” FFA head of women's football Emma Highwood said yesterday.
"In order for us to win a World Cup, we need every player to be competitive. This deal is about raising the bar for everyone, creating the right environment and creating depth in women's football.”
FFA chief executive David Gallop said the deal would also help the bid to host the 2023 World Cup in Australia.
"But with competition out there we need to stay competitive to remain attractive to athletes out there,” he said.
"We don't want to stop where we are, we need to continue to grow pay conditions for female footballers.”
PFA chief executive John Didulica said of the deal: "I think it's also important to note we're not just competing in this [domestic] market. We need to put a structure in place in Australian football to allow us to compete against Brazil, the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden and all of those with elite competitions.
"While we're now competing with domestic competitions, the broader challenge sits globally. Not against the provincial sports.”
As part of the new CBA, W-League players will also receive maternity support, with FFA providing financial support to cover travel and accommodation costs.
"Having a strong W-League is important for our bid,” Didulica said.
"We're not at a full home and away competition and we'll be there well and truly before the 2022 World Cup.”
Gallop also referenced the rise in competition of professional women's sport in Australia as a catalyst for parties to agree a new CBA - with the Women's AFL launched in 2017.
He said: "There's been a lightbulb moment across Australian sport in the last couple of years.
"We've been trailblazers in that regard - we're heading into a 10th season and that is a real feather in football's cap.”