The Matildas and Socceroos have struck a new pay deal that will mean the country’s top women’s footballers could receive a pay increase of up to $80,000 per year, on top of their club salaries and tournament prize money.
The deal follows the successful Women’s World Cup where the Matildas attracted hundreds of thousands of fans and set television ratings records.
The agreement gives players a larger share of football revenues, if certain objectives are met, prompting Football Australia chief executive James Johnson to describe it as a “partnership”. “The objective from Football Australia’s point of view in this agreement is to really drive the economic progress further forward,” he said.
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The previous deal between national team players and the governing body was struck in 2019, and was significant in that it provided parity in pay and conditions between men and women players, including both receiving business class flights and equivalent match preparation. That arrangement had lapsed this year as Football Australia prioritised the rollout of the successful World Cup.
Under the previous arrangement, Matildas were paid a set amount under tiers – approximately $110,000 for top players per year. But the new deal has brought them into line with the Socceroos, and provides approximately two thirds of player payments in match fees, with the remainder in an annual commercial payment.
The two approaches make direct comparisons difficult, but Professional Footballers Australia confirmed top women’s players could be in line for an increase of up to $80,000.
PFA co-chair, Kate Gill, said this deal was an evolution of the arrangement struck in 2019. “The cornerstone for that was obviously gender equality, which is still a core principle of this deal in itself,” she said. “This was around moving towards a partnership that was making sure that the players were rewarded for their success on the pitch, but also incentivised to grow the revenues as well for the business.”
PFA co-chief executive, Beau Busch, said the deal means top players will receive up to $200,000 per year, “which starts to push our women’s national team up into the most well remunerated women’s national team in the country”.
Head of women’s football at Football Australia, Sarah Walsh, said fringe players in Matildas squads – which are typically 23 in size – are especially going to benefit. “The 23rd player will now more likely than not be paid a lot more than they were and they were on in the other tiered contracts. It’s important to raise the standards of everybody in that 23.”
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The new deal runs until 2027, and includes an expansion of carers’ accommodation in team camps for children up to the age of four – an increase from the previous age limit of two. There will be approximately $2m over four years to programs and services to assist the development and support of players, and guaranteed funding for former players for the first time.
It also involves the creation of a working group between FA and the players that will work together on human rights issues, with the goal of creating a formal human rights policy for the game.