Australian female footballers get historic pay deal

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Canberra, Sep 11 (IANS) Female professional footballers in Australia’s W-League are set to benefit from a considerable pay rise, it was announced on Monday.

Football Federation Australia (FFA), the W-League and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) on Monday announced the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which will see every W-League player earn a minimum of 10,000 AU dollars (US $8,000) in the upcoming 2017-18 season, reports Xinhua news agency.

The two-year deal marks a considerable step-up from two seasons ago when there was no minimum salary in the league.

The amount of money being spent by W-League clubs will more than triple under the new CBA with the base payments of each club rising from 40,000 U.S. dollars per season to 145,000 U.S. dollars per season.

Minimum W-League spend will also rise from 362,000 U.S. dollars per season to 1.3 million U.S. dollars.

Top level female footballers who play in the W-League, other international leagues and for their national team will now earn at least 104,000 U.S. dollars per year.

David Gallop, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FFA, said the deal was a big step for female sport in Australia.

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

“W-League players deserve this pay rise. They have been trailblazers for women’s sport in Australia and are about to enter their 10th season.”

The PFA released a report in 2016 that revealed 85 percent of W-League players would consider quitting the league if wages were not increased.

The survey found that W-League players were losing 1,800 U.S. dollars per season on average due to paying for their own travel and health insurance.

“Having worked with the W-League players through this process, it has reinforced our view that these players are central to the future and to the fabric of Australian football,” PFA CEO John Didulica said.

“Like generations of players before them, they have succeeded in discharging their responsibility to leave their sport in a better place for players who follow.

“This deal is foundational. Hand in hand with the club owners and the FFA, it will build a platform to grow the players’ collective hope of building a professional career as a footballer and give the players a clear voice in what that future looks like.”

–IANS

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