Australian soccer governing body Football Federation Australia (FFA) signed the Collective Bargaining Agreement to ensure equal pay.
It is not uncommon knowledge that most women, no matter what field they are in, rarely ever get paid the same amount that their men counterparts do. While policy is changing to catch up with the times, there is still more to be done. However, we are now one step closer. In a landmark move, Australia's top women soccer players will now be awarded the same pay as men at the same level of the sport, CNN reports. While the United States continues to struggle with equal pay in sport, Australia is making great strides forward.
The equal pay decision is part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a four-year deal to bring gender equality to soccer. It was signed on Wednesday, November 6, between soccer governing body Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the soccer players' union Professional Footballers Australia (PFA). As part of the revolutionary agreement, the women's Westfield Matildas and the men's Caltex Socceroos will now be granted an equal share of all commercial revenue. Prior to this change, the Socceroos were given a bigger share of the generated revenue and were also paid more to play. Further to this, the Matildas, like the Socceroos, will be able to fly business class for international travel and will henceforth be given coaching and operational support up to the same standard that the men currently enjoy.
FFA Chairman Chris Nikou affirmed in a statement, "Football is the game for everyone, and this new CBA is another huge step toward ensuring that we live the values of equality, inclusivity, and opportunity. This is truly a unique agreement. Every national team, from the Socceroos and Matildas, down to the Youth National Teams as well as the Cerebral Palsy National Teams have been contemplated in this new CBA... For the first time, player remuneration will be directly tied to the revenues generated by our National Teams -- this will create a sustainable financial model that incentivizes players and FFA to collaborate and grow the commercial pie together."
As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, both the Matildas and Socceroos will now be entitled to receive a 24 percent share of an agreed aggregate of revenues generated by the National Team in the 2019 to 2020 sporting year. This percentage will rise by one percent each year there onwards. Moreover, a new three-tiered centralized contract system will ensure that Australia's top women players will earn the same as the men's Tier 1 players. Finally, in order to ensure new talent is well-trained, five percent of revenues will be reinvested in Australian Youth National Teams. Midfielder for the Matildas Elise Kellond-Knight stated at a press conference, "As a female footballer it's what we've always dreamed of. We always wanted to be treated equally. The new CBA shows signs of respect - we are going to be completely included. Having these facilities that the men have been exposed to will set us up for success." Hopefully, Australia's new agreement will set a precedent for other countries to swiftly follow suit.