Groundbreaking equal pay deal for Matildas players
The Matildas will share the same pay with the Socceroos for the first time under a groundbreaking deal to treat the two national teams equally.
In what is believed to be a world-first agreement, the pool of money for payments to both the male and female senior national teams will be identical, and all commercial revenues associated with both teams will be split 50/50 between them.
Historically the Socceroos have been allocated a greater share of commercial revenues and been paid more to play, an imbalance that the players collectively have agreed to correct.
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Officials from Football Federation Australia and the players union have been in intensive negotiations for months to reshape the whole pay agreement, with both sides said to be determined to set an example after the players union had called for equal prize money at male and female World Cups earlier this year.
It's hoped that the deal will be completed in time to be announced before the Matildas face Chile at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday, in the first of a double-header of friendlies ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament in February next year.
Under the new deal - which has been agreed in principle and just requires legal ratification - both the Matildas and Socceroos playing groups will share 40 per cent of commercial revenue and prize money associated with the senior national teams.
That in itself is an increase on the 30 per cent share under the previous deal, but more significant is the agreement to share that 40 per cent equally between male and female players.
In practice the men will be able to receive more in terms of prize money as the rewards at the men's World Cup are much higher, but the principle of equity extends to both teams receiving the same percentage of money coming in.
The male and female sides are paid differently for appearances, in that each Socceroo receives a match fee for appearing in a game, or being selected for a camp over a certain length. The Matildas, by contrast, are centrally contracted by FFA, and receive extra money on top based on club deals in the W-League and abroad.
But the overall sum of money allocated to paying each of the senior national teams will be the same under a deal that will be backdated to July 1. As part of it, there will be three tiers of pay for the centrally contracted Matildas.
The Matildas launched a campaign ahead of the Women's World Cup to try to persuade FIFA to reduce the huge differential in prize money between that tournament and the men's world Cup.
The total prize pool for teams at the Women's World Cup in France was around $US30m ($A43m), compared with $US400m ($A575 million) set aside for the Men's World Cup in Russia last year.
Other teams are fighting their own federations to seek greater parity, with the US women's national team filing a law suit against the US Soccer Federation alleging "institutionalised gender discrimination" over pay and bonuses.
The FFA and PFA both declined to comment.