W-League Players To Receive Improved Pay, Conditions With New Wage Deal
The Australian Football League Women's competition "might have grabbed most of the media attention" last season, but Australia's W-League players have "now been given a major incentive to stick with the world game" in the shape of "significantly" improved pay and conditions, according to Michael Lynch of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Football Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia on Monday announced what they described as a "landmark" collective bargaining agreement between the two organizations and the W-League clubs. The deal is "expected to more than double the average pay packet of W-League players" to A$15,500 ($12,436) for the upcoming season. The previous average was A$6,909. Under the new two-year agreement, all players -- other than those on scholarships -- are "guaranteed a minimum retainer" of at least A$10,000 ($8,023) for the coming season and A$12,200 ($9,788) for the '18-19 season, "with no prescribed cap on how much any individual player can be paid on a retainer." The extra cash will come from improved grants to the clubs that field W-League teams "as a result of the extra cash generated" by the sport's new A$346M ($277.6M) six-year broadcast deal. The new deal is "designed to provide for a much greater degree of financial certainty" (SMH, 9/11).
'START OF A NEW ERA': In Sydney, Ray Gatt wrote previously, many players in the W-League "only received reimbursement of expenses, leaving them severely out of pocket and forced to rely on family and friends" to help fund their aspiring careers. Financial considerations aside, "there are a number of concessions that have been agreed to," including:
- contracting certainty.
- larger playing rosters.
- an increase in the salary cap per club from A$150,000 ('16-17) to A$300,000 ($240,700) this season and A$350,000 ($280,820) in '18-19.
- enhanced medical standards.
- key principles for the first ever formal maternity policy.