Closing the Aussie Football Pay Gap

Equal Pay in Women’s Football.

On the 6th Nov 2019, Women’s football fans across the globe cheers as a historic change was achieved. The Australian women’s national soccer team finally struck a deal with equal pay and entitlements. The four-year deal between Football Federation Australia (FFA), and the players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) entails the same cut of commercial revenue as the men’s national team, the Caltex Socceroos. 

The Matildas.

The Australia women’s national soccer team, The Matildas will receive identical training conditions and other entitlements such as business class air travel which are currently only offered to the male national team. However, to ratify the said deal, both teams now must receive a 40% cut of prize money in future tournaments. Despite top female players seeing a significant boost their salary now to AUD$ 100,000. The men’s national team are likely to keep earning more due to the greater prize money offered at their participating matches.

The Matilda’s are owned by Scentre Group, which operates under the Westfield brand is an Australian shopping centre company. Consisting of 20 members, the youngest being Ellie Carpenter who is 19-years-old and the eldest being Aivi Luik who is 34-years-old, the Matilda’s are known as the Westfield Matildas after a deal that allowed the FFA and Westfield to become partners. 

The Matildas celebrating their World Cup victory over Brazil.

Forces behind equality.

The cause of the push to this sudden change remains open to debate. Back in 2015, there was a call for equality when it was revealed that The Matilda’s would earn AUD$500 per player and the Scorearoos earned AUD$7,500 per player during the World Cup games.

The Matilda’s captain, 26-year-old Samatha Kerr is ranked 8th in FIFA’s World Women Rankings. While their male counterpart is ranked at 44th place in the Men’s category, yet the women’s team still earned less.

The Matilda’s at the World Cup in France 2019

Some speculate that it’s a reward for Matilda’s outstanding performance during the Women’s World Cup only losing their Round of 16 against Norway only by penalty. Others speculate that it’s a response to the accusations that were thrown at FIFA.

America’s Megan Rapinoe claims that FIFA “shows women’s football ‘lack of respect'” by having the Women’s World Cup finals on the same night as the Copa America and Gold Cup Finals. Other claims include FIFA’s raised prize money for the Women’s World Cup 2023 to USD$60M is still incomparable to men’s USD$440M.

Baby Steps to Equal Pay.

The American Women’s football has called for similar action towards their gender pay gap. However, the fight continues for them when it was revealed that their male counterparts earned 6 times the amount of their prize money.

The players hope that future women players don’t have to work several odd jobs to support their dreams of becoming professional football players. As the Matildas had to resort to while playing the sport professionally.

Many have high hopes that Australia’s step would encourage other federations to follow suit which could encourage more women in the sport. Calling the elimination of the gender pay gap and achieve equality in wages and between gender.

Written by Nayli Nasran, “Nel”

Photos and References:
BBC News(a) BBC News(b) , ITV News, CBS News, ABC News.