The Professionals Footballers Association deserves a round of applause for its historic achievement of delivering equal pay for the Matildas.
Yesterday’s reports (led by Dom Bossi at the Sydney Morning Herald), which state an official announcement on this front is to be made today, are a landmark moment for football and sport in general.
As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, the Socceroos will effectively reduce a portion of their earnings to close the gap between themselves and their Matildas counterparts as well as ensuring greater facilities and resources to the national women’s team.
Furthermore, the Herald reports that male and female players have agreed to provide over $1 million to youth development programs.
Cue the usual complaints of, “the men make more for the game so should earn more from the game.”
But that’s not the point.
This is such an important step because it shows a commitment to the growth of football.
Better paid Matildas, better facilities, better resources and better youth development programs for female footballers mean a stronger local game and a more incentivised player base.
Aside from the fact that the Matildas have regularly been one of the country’s best-performing national teams and deserve to be remunerated accordingly, it’s just great to see a harmonious approach between the PFA, its members and Football Federation Australia.
I recently spoke to the chairman of the Australian Association of Football Clubs, Nick Galatas, who noted that he was seeing more goodwill for the greater good of Australian football now than he had seen at any point since the creation of the A-League.
With the AAFC working with the PFA and FFA on a national second division, it certainly feels like – for the most part – most of the crucial bodies in Australian football are pulling in the same direction.
With countless column inches now freed up from the civil war which seemed to never end to actually cover the game, it’s no surprise that there seems to be a much more energised and optimistic feel about the ongoing discourse and future of the game.
The PFA seems to be the driving force behind so much of the positivity being generated and should be duly congratulated for their role in pushing the game forward into a new era.
More than just being a beacon of light for the game in so many of the most important negotiations and decisions being made in recent memory, the PFA is also generating some of the game’s most important moments of reflection.
Their recently released report, titled ‘Culture Amplifies Talent: Building a Framework for Golden Generations’, was a fantastic thought-provoking piece which forced us to consider our footballing past, present and future.
It’s no surprise to see PFA Chief Executive John Didulica linked so strongly with the CEO position over at FFA.
With the independence of the A-League arguably providing the FFA with a much different mandate over the next few years – mainly a much stronger focus on grassroots football and the member associations who administer it – the work being done at the PFA
On the field, football is reflecting that mood.
The A-League is proving one of the most entertaining seasons yet.
We’re seeing more notable performances from more young, promising Australian players.
The W-League is just around the corner, too.
There’s still plenty of work to do, sure, but it’s pleasing to see progress being made on most, if not all, fronts.
Kudos to the PFA for their ongoing central role in so much that is improving in Australian football.