W-League players will earn the equivalent minimum wage to the men in a landmark deal on the eve of the Women’s World Cup.
Meanwhile A-League new boys Western United will have a $400,000 bonus war chest in their inaugural season, after soccer’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was revealed.
The 10 exiting clubs have received a $137,000 (4.5 per cent) cap increase to $3.2 million, compared to United’s $3.6 million, while working group has been set up to explore the possibility of abolishing salary cap and reintroducing transfers within the domestic competition – which has been banned since 2005.
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Two years on from a survey which revealed that “professional” W-League players were out of pocket $2237 on average per season with no minimum salary in place, the base wage has risen to $16,344.
Pro rata, it matches the men’s base wage once factoring in the shorter four-month W-League season – many players supplement their income by heading abroad in between.
With the Australian players’ union taking a leading role in the global fight for FIFA to increase the paltry total Women’s World Cup purse of $43 million (compared to $574 million for Russia 2018), their championing of women’s soccer domestically continues.
“We’re very proud that we have been able to anchor the minimum conditions for W-League players to those of A-League players. It’s a moment in time that the players should be proud of,” player’ union chief John Didulica said.
“Due to the significant complexity in moving toward an independent league, the PFA’s motivation in reaching this extension was to help facilitate a more stable foundation for this potential transition and continue advancing fundamental areas.
They include record funding for player development and wellbeing and entrenching gender equality across minimum standards such as pay.
“There is also now a commitment from the players, the clubs and FFA to use this 12-month window to work in partnership. This partnership will be critical to ensuring a successful transition to an independent league when agreed and to effectively reform and evolve fundamental areas such as the salary cap, transfer system, the W-League and building out the youth competitions.”
OTHER A-LEAGUE CBA HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
Base player payments of $2.88 million which is a 4.3% ($123,300) increase in 2019-20;
$200,000 cap on Loyalty Player payments and Homegrown Player payments outside of the salary cap have been removed;
Maximum number of scholarship players increased from six to nine.
“The new A-League CBA also provides an incentive to A-League clubs to continue to invest in youth academies,’’ A-League chief Greg O’Rourke said.