W-League players will receive a significant pay increase and improved employment conditions following a landmark collective bargaining agreement.
Under the new two-year agreement between Football Federation Australia, the Westfield W-League clubs and Professional Footballers Australia, all players, other than those on scholarships, are guaranteed a minimum retainer of at least $10,000 for the coming season and $12,200 for the 2018/19 season, with no prescribed maximum cap on any one player’s retainer.
The average retainer for Westfield W-League Players is expected to rise from $6,909 to $15,500 for Season 2017/18. Previously, many players were considered amateur and received only reimbursement of expenses.
The new agreement provides contracting certainty, larger roster sizes, a significantly increased salary cap, an agreed commercial framework to underpin the growth of the women’s game, enhanced minimum medical standards, key principles for the first ever formal maternity policy for Westfield W-League players and the establishment of a formal partnership with the players through the Professional Women’s Football Committee to drive further employment, performance and competition reform.
While the new agreement sets minimum standards, the highest earning Australian female professionals – those playing in the Westfield W-League, other professional leagues overseas and for the women’s national team, the Matildas, are expected to now earn at least $130,000 a year.
FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop said that while more needed to be done to bridge the gap to what professional males were being paid, this was an important next step for the Westfield W-League.
“This is the start of a new era for professional female footballers in Australia,” Gallop said.
“Westfield W-League players deserve this pay rise. They have been trail blazers for women’s sport in Australia and are about to enter their 10th season.
Professional Footballers Australia Chief Executive John Didulica said: “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.
“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.”
• The highest paid female players are earning more than $130,000 a year through the Westfield W-League, leagues overseas and Matildas
• The average pay for a Westfield W-League player will be $15,500 in 2017/18 under the new deal rising to $17,400 in the following season
• The Westfield W-League salary cap per club will be increased from $150,000 in 2016/17 to $300,000 in 2017/18 and $350,000 in 2018/19
• Base payer payments are rising from a total of $450,000 in 2016/17 to $1.62 this season and $1.99m for next season
• Westfield W-League players will have equal access to the Player Development Program (which drives player education, wellbeing and transition in and out of football) created by the Whole of Game CBA which covers the players in the A-League, the Socceroos and the Matildas)