England Football Women Refuse To Sign Contracts After Wage Dispute
England’s women’s footballers "do not know where their next pay packet is coming from" because of a dispute between the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association over their £16,000 ($25,692)-a-year central contracts, according to Oliver Kay of the LONDON TIMES. The contracts of the 17 leading English players, including the vast majority of the squad that represented Great Britain at the London Olympics, expired at the end of November, and negotiations between PFA CEO Gordon Taylor and FA General Secretary Alex Horne have "hit problems over the issue of opportunities for secondary employment." The players have not accepted pay from the FA on a month-to-month basis and went unpaid in December after following the advice of the PFA. The FA opposed this arrangement, but it is believed that the PFA offered loans to cover the players’ earnings for December and "will do likewise for January if no agreement can be reached before the next payday." Under the terms of the central contracts that were awarded in '09, the 17 players are paid £16,000 a year. Having not had a pay increase for three years, the players have been offered "only a small rise" to £18,000 ($28,904) a year. The basic wage is "not the most significant part" of the negotiations. A resolution has finally been reached over arrangements for a maternity package, which was previously considered inadequate, but "significant differences remain over the issue of secondary employment." The players have agreed not to discuss the matter publicly while negotiations continue. The FA declined to comment (LONDON TIMES, 1/8).