Conflict between the FFA and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) is heating up. Earlier this afternoon the Matildas announced that players would withdraw from their Sydney-based camp ahead of an upcoming USA tour.
This was later confirmed by PFA chief executive Adam Vivian, after failing to confirm a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the FFA.
“This decision has not been taken lightly, however the players feel they have been left with little option as the current proposal is simply unacceptable,” said Vivian.
“FFA has failed to recognise the significant sacrifices the Matildas players are forced to make in playing for their country.
“The players have sought to have their contribution to the game respected. The current proposal from FFA highlights their unwillingness to meaningfully address the core issues.”
Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams said the players are all in agreeance with the actions taken.
“This was an extremely difficult decision to make,” said Williams.
“However it’s simply unfair to continue to expect us to make enormous sacrifices to play for Australia. For the past two months the players have been unpaid and have made every attempt to reach an agreement that gives the women’s game a platform for growth.
“This is about the future of Australian football. We want to establish football as the sport of choice for Australian women, and we want to be one of the best nations in the world.
“FFA’s stance indicates that they do not share these ambitions, nor do they understand and respect what we have given to the game. We are simply asking FFA do their bit so we can grow the game together.”
The FFA responded to the Matildas’ decision by announcing their own press release stating that they “condemned Professional Footballers Association (PFA) for taking action without notice, disrupting the Matildas preparations for the matches against the world champions USA this month.”
According to the FFA the PFA took action “just hours before the latest round of talks for a new whole of game Collective Bargaining Agreement”, in which the Matildas would receive “significant increases in spending on air travel, accommodation and benefits. Including a 10 per cent immediate pay increase with annual increases rising to 15 per cent across the term of the CBA.”
“Today FFA entered the talks in good faith with the intention of finalising the CBA, based on assurances from the PFA’s leadership that the parties were not far apart,” FFA CEO David Gallop said in a statement.
“Instead, we were presented with a fresh set of demands that amount to millions of dollars of unfunded commitments.
“It is sad that the Matildas have been dragged into a dispute that’s primarily about the A-League. The offer to the Matildas would basically double their pay over the next four years.”
Currently the Matildas are being paid $500 in match fees (pre Women’s World Cup), in contrast to Socceroos players, who are paid $6500.
In the 2015 Women’s World Cup hosted in Canada, the Matildas survived the Group of Death where they defeated Brazil 1-0. They made Australian women’s football history by reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament.
If the women had made it to the finals they would have been paid $5600 in match fees, while their male counterparts would earn $69,000 for doing the same thing.