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Top Matildas players will earn the same pay as top Socceroos players under a landmark new deal

Sharon Masige
  • Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA)
    have confirmed a deal that will see top tier Matildas players earn the same money as top Socceroos Players.
  • Under the deal, both teams will share 19% of collective revenue.
  • The Matildas will also receive other perks given to Socceroos players, such as business class international travel.

The Matildas are getting a bigger piece of the payment pie.

On Wednesday, Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) confirmed a new collective bargaining agreement that will see the gender pay gap close between the Matildas and the Socceroos football teams.

Under the four-year deal, both the Socceroos and the Matildas will get a 24% share of the total revenue generated by the teams (from instances like sponsorship, merchandising and broadcasting) in 2019/20. And this will increase by 1% each year of the deal.

Within that 24%, however, 5% will be given to the Australian youth national teams. So technically the players will get 19% - which will be split equally between the Matildas and the Socceroos - and 5% given to invest in the youth teams.

For the Matildas, it means Tier 1 players will earn the same amount as the top Socceroos players.

Speaking at a media conference, PFA CEO John Didulica said that overall, this will see each Matilda on a tier one contract earn a minimum of $83,000 per year.

"If you couple that with the W-League minimum salary, which is now close to $17,000, any tier one Matilda, before they step foot on the park, will be paid $100,000 a year."

But when asked whether this is a world-first agreement, Didulica opted instead to call it "unique".

Didulica said the nature of the payments will be different given the different context in which the Matilda's and the Socceroos operate.

"We all know that the club structure for the Matilda's can be challenging given [that] they're operating across different seasons and different clubs," he said.

"So the importance of a fixed term contract with the Matildas really underpins their ability to commit to the game long term. So they'll be paid to centralised contracts. The Socceroos on the other hand will continue to be paid extensively through match payments and other commercial dividends at the back end of those deals."

Under the deal, Matilda's will also be granted the same access to business class international travel and coaching that matches that standards of the Socceroos.

Plus, the FFA plans to renegotiate all sponsor contracts – including those with Nike – to make sure there are the same performance bonuses for both the Matildas and the Socceroos.

In terms of prize money, both the Matildas and Socceroos players will be entitled to 40% of the prize money when they qualify for the FIFA World Cup - an increase from 30% previously. And the share of the prize money rises to 50% if the players progress to the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup.

Kate Gill PFA Deputy CEO told Business Insider Australia that the payment scheme has already been enforced.

"What will happen is that the Matilda's contracts expired as of July last year, so the payments will now be backdated, so the pay would have start as of August."

When asked what the deal meant to her and the team, Matildas player Elise Kellond-Knight told Business Insider Australia that it was "enormous".

"It's a sign of respect and opportunity," she said. "It's going to be a collective approach to growing the game together, which is fantastic to see. And then there's also the opportunity where we're going to be provided the same resources as what the men have been exposed to. So now there's going to be no barriers to achieving what we're capable of achieving."

Kellond-Knight also said that Australians are now leaders in this space, but warned that it needs to be reflected globally.

"A lot of nations are going to be jealous, in a way," she said. "But it's just really impressive to see that our Federation [is] able to support us in this way. And hopefully the rest of the world is going to catch on. It's great that we do things here in Australia but things need to happen worldwide, for it to really grow."

Nonetheless Kellond-Knight believes the agreement is going to do big things for soccer at the grassroots level.

"It's going to hopefully push females into the game so we have a bigger pool to help grow the national team."