Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop has hailed the new landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement for Westfield W-League players.
Speaking at the unveiling of the new CBA on Monday, Gallop says the deal is a deserved reward for the players who have been “trailblazers” in women’s sport in Australia.
“This is the start of a new era for professional female footballers in Australia,” Gallop told reporters at FFA HQ.
“Westfield W-League players deserved improve pay and conditions and have done for some time. I’m delighted we’ve worked through a process with collaboration with our colleagues from the PFA, with our clubs and the players themselves.
“There’s been a lightbulb moment in women’s sport in Australia over the last few years. We have been trailblazers on that front,” Gallop added.
“The fact we are going into a 10th season [of the Westfield W-League] is a great feather in football’s cap.
“W-League players deserve this pay rise. They have been trailblazers for women’s sport in Australia.”
Some key components of the new CBA include:
*An average pay rise from $6909 to $15,500 in 2017/18, then increasing to $17,400 the following season,.
*Football and non-football income protection for injured players;
*A new maternity policy;
*Increased player contract length and contract security with multi-year deals;
*Access to the PFA Player Development Program; and
*Football boots and runners provided.
“There’s much more to achieve for women’s football,” Gallop said.
“We’re going into a sell-out game for the [Westfield] Matildas in Penrith, there’ll be another healthy crowd in Newcastle as well.
“We want to keep that snowball momentum going for the Matildas but it’s also important that our W-League ducktails into what they are doing as well.
“Because of the competition that’s out there we need to stay competitive for young women to play the game. We don’t want to stay where we are, we realise we have to continue to grow the pay conditions for female football.”
Professional Footballers’ Association chief John Didulica says the new CBA is a significant moment for Westfield W-League players.
“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,” he said.
“Like generations of players before them, they have succeeded in discharging their responsibility to leave their sport in a better place for players who follow.
“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.”
Former Westfield Matilda and Perth Glory defender Kim Carroll added: “We’ve had teleconferences about it leading up to this point.
“It’s a great step forward, everyone’s excited to get the [Westfield W-League] season started but this a great stepping stone going forward for everyone across the board.”