New era for female footballers ushered in under historic new pay deal

Simon Douch Roar Guru

By Simon Douch, Simon Douch is a Roar Guru

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    Australia’s female footballers will receive a significant pay rise following an agreement between Football Federation Australia, the W-League clubs and Professional Footballers Australia.

    In the first step to truly modernising the women’s professional game, the agreement means all W-League players will be guaranteed a minimum retainer of at least $10,000 for the coming season and $12,200 for the 2018/19 season.

    With the new agreement, the average retainer is expected to rise from $6,909 to $15,500 for season 2017/18.

    Additionally, there is no prescribed maximum cap on any one player’s retainer.

    Under the agreement, the highest-earning professional female footballers – those plying their trade with the Matildas – will earn up to $150,000 per year

    FFA CEO David Gallop said that while more needed to be done to bridge the gap to what professional males were being paid, this was an important next step for the female footballers in Australia.

    David Gallop

    (AFP PHOTO / Peter PARKS)

    “This is the start of a new era for professional female footballers in Australia,” Gallop said.

    “W-League players deserve this pay rise. They have been trail blazers for women’s sport in Australia and are about to enter their tenth season.

    “It is important to acknowledge that this significant improvement has been made possible through the close positive collaboration of the W-League clubs, Professional Footballers Australia and the players working over many months with FFA.”

    The new deal puts the W-League in company with rival female sporting competitions, and the FFA will no doubt be hoping it will entice more players to the competition in the face of the competition offered by rival sporting codes like AFLW and Super Netball.

    The minimum league expenditure on players will rise from half a million dollars to around $1.62 million. While a step in the right direction, this is a relatively small figure compared to the expenditures of other codes, with AFLW and Super Netball sitting at $2.4 million and $5.4 million respectively.

    The W-League salary cap has been doubled to $300,000 which will encourage more international talent to the competition and strengthen the clubs. That figure will rise again to $350,000 in 2018-19.

    While there is no free-to-air broadcasting deal under the agreement, Foxtel will show 24 regular season games and all of the three-game finals series.

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    • September 11th 2017 @ 12:33pm
      Nemesis said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      This is fantastic news.

      A wage rise that begins to value professional women footballers properly & seems to have the endorsement of: FFA, PFA, clubs, players …

      Maybe even fans will begrudgingly admit the FFA have done a great job on this? Maybe, pigs will fly first.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 12:42pm
        Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        “Maybe even fans will begrudgingly admit the FFA have done a great job on this?” … maybe they will, but lets see the detail first: who’s paying for all this – the FFA or the clubs? When can we expect to see an FTA component? And when will the league expand to a full home/away schedule and expand the number of teams?

        So far, looking at the initial reporting, all parties involved (PFA, FFA and the Clubs) deserve credit for moving this forward. It certainly looks positive and (as we discussed yesterday) is generating much needed positive headlines which we – as a code – really needed.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 8:05pm
        LuckyEddie said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

        Maybe the female football fans will go to the W-League games or are the A-league members funding the deal. All very PC but , netball aside, no one goes to W-league , WAFFLE or womens cricket games. There is a few exceptions but week to week no one goes or really cares.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 6:06am
          Waz said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:06am | ! Report

          It’s easy to draw that conclusion Eddie; Roar have an average crowd of 1,800 at AJ Kelly Park plus the Suncorp games, whilst not significant compared to the HAL it exceeds most NPL crowds and is comparable to the old NSL. It needs some investment to grow which, given the massive growth in female participation, shouldn’t be hard to do – the demand is there if the product is right with the Matildas drawing tv viewing figures measured in the hundreds of thousands and selling out some home games.

    • September 11th 2017 @ 12:36pm
      Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      To be honest it looks a bit hard to make out exactly what’s going on here as the reporting lacks detail. But it all looks positive and, although the expenditure probably exceeds revenue raised, it looks to be a good investment in the game.

      I noticed Roar will be playing 5 out of their 6 home games as double headers at Suncorp, the ladies are said to be delighted and I just hope the crowds keep turning up for them at the new venue.

      The cherry on the top is the FTA component – surely ABC can pick it up again?

      • September 11th 2017 @ 12:59pm
        punter said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

        You called it yesterday Waz & this was high on your wish list. I wish the W League all the best, will be there on Saturday watching the Matildas.

        • September 11th 2017 @ 1:41pm
          Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          yes I did. And pleased to say I’m not disappointed. We needed this and although there’s work to do and it took Football ten years to do what the AFLW did in one year, this is a good outcome and a great next step

          • September 11th 2017 @ 2:04pm
            Midfielder said | September 11th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report


            You keep making reference to the AFL as if they are some kinda leaders in womens sport…

            First FFA where the first of the Football codes to start a women’s league…

            Second the funding of the women’s league by the AFL is a fraction of their total income… the percentage that Football is paying is far greater .

            No idea how this will be paid I guess that will come out latter, maybe FFA have sold their digital rights or they expect the clubs to carry the cost.

            I am glad too but I grow tired of the constant AFL comments.

            • September 11th 2017 @ 2:28pm
              Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

              Mid, go and talk to some women’s footballers then you’ll know who’s tired of the constant references to other codes. It is relevant to them.

              The following, posted today on FB by a lady closely involved in women’s football, sums it up better than I can:

              “‘Anything football does will only be catching up to the standards the AFLW has in place after one season. It took 10 seasons to get this CBA into place and that only happened because of last seasons PFA report showing that players in the W-League were sometimes earning less than $500 a season. The AFLW, CA and Netball Australia showed last year with their new deals that they were ahead of football in this country. That’s why it has everything to do with other sports”

              So comparison to other codes matters to our female participants and we (males) dismiss it at our peril.

              Now I’m a supporter of women’s football, and it has equal importance to me as the men’s game despite the obvious imbalance, and I see Roar (as do many Roar supporters) as two teams – male and female.

              That’s why Roar has the highest average attendance of any W League team.

              Today is good news for our code but it’s news that will always stand comparison to other codes, that’s a point I made yesterday. We needed good headlines today because whatever is written today will get regurgitated for the next few months.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 2:56pm
                Midfielder said | September 11th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report


                Heavens above, all I said was the two codes are in totally different revenue zones.

                I have read the AFL revenue is 505 million per year, with no national teams costs.

                There is not a chance hell FFA can compete with the AFL… on wages ..

                I accept what you are saying and what the girls are saying….

                If I was a female sports player and money was my desire and I was to short for Basketball then I would go to the AFL…… its not hard to reason why ..

                I don’t see a solution until we bring lots more revenue into Football….

                Considering no FTA station would even bid for the A_league me thinks the revenue is a long way off…

                As an aside the 10 ratings are going to be vital in revenue terms in the future …. both in dollar terms and building a market to help get the 82% of players to watch who currently don’t watch the A-League.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 3:09pm
                Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report


                Stop trying to change tack during debates. The comparison matters to those that count – female footballers!

                That’s what matters not any false logic of who generates more or less revenue.

                The AFLW were not paying a huge amount of money, but they were doing it better that the WL were and the AFLW/CA/Netball all did it better than us – we did good today, let’s leave it at that shall we.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 3:48pm
                Nemesis said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                Waz, you are a very reasonable person most times but you lose all sense of reason when it comes to the FFA.

                Where did you want the FFA to pay the WLeague wages? FFA made a $3m loss last year. Ok some people suggest paying FFA Execs less. Fine. Let’s have some hard dat on Executive pay at FFA & see if it’s unreasonably high for a $100m organisation that has national & international operations.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 3:55pm
                Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

                Nemesis, unreasonable? I’ve said I’m very pleased with this, I’m very pleased with the headlines it’s generating, its s step in the right direction. Unreasonable?

                Now as far as I can tell, it’s the clubs that’s going to pick up the additional $1.5m not the FFA. Which is interesting but let’s see if there’s any confirmation on that.

                Now as far as Mid goes, he was complaining I used the AFL as a comparison; that is just the reality of where the sport sits and several media outlets have made the comparison in their stories. We can’t stick out head in the sand and ignore that reality – football will and is, getting compared. What’s happened today is good.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 5:15pm
                Nemesis said | September 11th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report


                The minimum spend for each club’s WLeague squad wages will be $180k per year.

                The FFA is contributing $150k per year to each club.

                I think this is very reasonable.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 5:41pm
                Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

                Well we wait for all the details, but as I said yesterday it’s good that it’s generated positive headlines (even the comparisons with other codes have been favourable) so let’s hope we as a code can bounce from one positive to the next ?

              • September 11th 2017 @ 6:17pm
                Nemesis said | September 11th 2017 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

                I reckon you’ll find all the details you want here.

                W-League CBA: Here’s what you need to know

              • September 11th 2017 @ 9:43pm
                Waz said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

                Excellent summary ?

            • September 12th 2017 @ 3:09pm
              chris said | September 12th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

              Waz I talk to lots of girls at elite levels of football. They see AFL as a bit of a giggle and while some players have gone across (girls on the verge of being too old/not good enough to make young Matildas/Matildas), football remains their number one priority. They arent silly.
              They can see the pathways that football gives them. Ie:
              1/ US college scholarships
              2/ Professional contracts in Europe/Asia/USA
              3/ Olympics
              4/ Asian cup
              5/ World Cup
              6/ A decent living as the good players can play all year round
              Tell me what other sport can offer these wonderful opportunities?

      • September 12th 2017 @ 8:02am
        Post_hoc said | September 12th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

        Wanderers have announced 4 double headers including before the Sydney derby. These are good things to do, well done Roar and Wanderers

    • September 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm
      Ken Spacey said | September 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

      I note lady reds have no double headers with HAL. I note that every time there’s a double header some one in govt or social commententators bag the club because girls can’t get in change rooms etc. SA Premier’s go to female MP on women’s sport had a go on this completely oblivious to the irony that.

      *Her govt. like several others are screwing football hard to use taxpayer facilities while rolling out red carpet for tother codes who’ve done less for cultural and gender diversity.

      * Her gov handed control from dept of Sport and Rec .to Adelaide Entertainment Ctre who promptly remodelled change rooms from 4 good size to 2 very large, completely ignoring the many examples of multiple use needs such as recent all day NPL/WNPL and youth teams across several hours. Yet when AFL and co ‘discover” women’s sport there seems to be unlimited funds for new gender equity facilities. AEC also took over other parts of Complex which could have been used by other teams.

      * SA govt have spent money on boutique synthetic pitch venues which are barely full size for elite adults. So investment welcome but for the sake of a few bucks could have done better.

      * HAL cannot hire top stadia at full rates for stand alone W-League matches. Yet the no entry fee AFLW matches seem to have access to some good venues which either are being bankrolled by the AFL or getting some sweet deals from civic authorities.Share the love?

      I use this not as my local issue but as an example of how Football needs more respect. It is also an example of people unfairly bagging FFA and HAL over women’s sport without some acknowledgement of the progress made under difficult conditions.

      • September 12th 2017 @ 9:11am
        AR said | September 12th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        What the AFL did for its women’s competition is exactly what Cricket Australia did for its women’s competition –

        It created demand by financing the product itself.

        Cricket stepped out and spiked its women’s salaries as high as it could. This draws female competitors to the game. It’s a bold strategy and one which should be admired.

        Cricket Australia said: “Were not going to sit around and hope the government or sponsors or someone else gives our women money, we’re going to do not ourselves.”

        It’s admirable. All sports should aim to fill their own sails when possible and determine their own destiny.

    • September 11th 2017 @ 3:12pm
      AR said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

      Great outcome for women’s soccer and sport in general.

      Cricket and netball still lead the way, but these are important steps. Good stuff.

    • Roar Pro

      September 11th 2017 @ 11:12pm
      anon said | September 11th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

      Good coin for amateurs playing a 7 game season.

      Last season in the case of some players they were playing their FIRST game of Australian Football in THEIR LIVES.

      So, amazing money for people who have played 7 games of a particular sport in the entirety of their lives.

      Very generous of the AFL considering the AFLW doesn’t generate any money. It actually loses money for the AFL due to subsidising spectators with free entry.

      • September 12th 2017 @ 6:01am
        punter said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:01am | ! Report

        Very good coin for amateurs, understand why so many playing other sportswomen jumped on the bandwagon. As Mid said above, the AFL can afford it & it brings in good advertisement to the sport during a very quiet off season.
        Great opportunity for those who love the game to play for some real coin & gives AFL fans something to watch in the off season.

        The W League runs at the same time as the A-League, the FFA doesn’t have the money of the AFL & unfortunately apart from Tennis, we see in most sports, womens sports are treated like 2nd class citizens. But these are important steps, this is a great stepping stone for those to compete at the elite level to earn fairly good coin. However, unlike AFLW, the women are competing directly against the men & with football, there is no real off season anyway.

      • September 12th 2017 @ 1:00pm
        Ken Spacey said | September 12th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        All good points and for some more perspective the better W-League players can earn more in US and Europe and for the national team. The AFLW does not offer that and its second tier comps are still truly amateur. The TV money allows the AFL to run elite men’s teams in major centres without a huge grassroots below but its hard to see that working for AFLW which is already showing signs of being very Melbourne centric despite the Adel/Bris GF. If the Melb AFL clubs all get teams that will be repeating the same historical problems of Men’s comp. Not sure that’s a bright move as there does not seem to be the depth of talent for that and has the risk of starving NSW and Qld. Doubts over Netball decision to sleep with the enemy, it is an enormous risk that could backfire on them.

        I’d love to see the FFA show some guts and put a $1,000,000 bonus up for grabs for any national team that wins a world cup or Olympic Gold medal. Me thinks Sam Kerr and co beaming at Camera with winner’s medals around neck would get that investment back in full.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 1:13pm
          valhalla said | September 12th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          there you go again …..

    • September 12th 2017 @ 7:18am
      Bondy said | September 12th 2017 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      This is great news for women’s football in Australia . Women/Girls only play football and netball in Australia ,it must be difficult for the likes of Cricket Australia having a sport women refuse to play .

      Women don’t play Cricket ….

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