Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have announced that the two entities will form a joint Working Party.
The Working Party will include representatives from FFA, the PFA and the 9 W-League clubs as the player led drive for established pay and conditions continues.
“Football has had a national women’s league since we launched the Westfield W-League in 2008/9 and has enjoyed strong growth over that period,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“The Matildas have had a CBA in place for 6 years. The common goal of the FFA and the PFA is to lead the way by also establishing a CBA for the national league players. One of the tasks of the Working Party will be to set a realistic timeframe and basis for achieving this.”
The Working Party will look to discuss and outline achievable future targets in the areas of:
- Competition structure
- Competition format
- Club infrastructure
- Players’ terms and conditions.
While the PFA have been overseeing the Matildas interests for the last 6 years, W-League players have been noticeably absent from key discussions in recent years.
This year the PFA have increased their efforts in terms of outreach and support to players with several discussions taking place with players, as well as the establishment of delegates, Injury and Stadium Reports.
— The PFA (@thepfa) August 26, 2016
PFA CEO John Didulica said the players were committed to ensuring the Working Group was successful in advancing the interests of the sport.
“The Westfield W-League is a critical cornerstone of women’s football and a critical step toward international success. The PFA is looking forward to working with FFA and the clubs on building a women’s football competition of global significance,” said Didulica.
“Building the W-League into a sustainable professional competition will establish a platform for the hundreds of thousands of young girls currently playing football and ensure our ongoing international success. The challenge of building this platform is one shared by everybody within, and connected to, football.”
It is a critical time for women’s football and the W-League with several other sports making headline grabbing plays in recent months.
While the W-League has solid foundations, there is work to be done to ensure future growth on and off the pitch.
“The focus now is on building a league which is sustainable but more professional on many levels to ensure growth for the club and players alike,” said new FFA Head of the W-League Greg O’Rourke.
— Kim Carroll (@kimcarroll3) March 19, 2016
“We need to ensure the platform allows us to move to more games for the players and fans with the addition of more rounds and potentially more teams. The growth of the league and the resulting revenues will work hand in hand with meeting the expectations of the community and players around wages and conditions.”