It has been a long time coming but for the first time this W-League season, all players signed to the standard W-League Amateur Agreement will be paid an allowance for their participation.
The move comes following consultation between the Professional Footballers Australia and Football Federation Australia led W-League Working Party (which includes representatives from the clubs).
The payments of between $60 to $150 per week for a maximum 16 week period is consistent with the men’s National Youth League and National Premier League schedule.
Discussion between the W-League Working Party and the clubs has also led to the clubs being encouraged to utilise more of their salary cap – minimum of $35,000 and a maximum of $150,000 – for player remuneration. These conversation are believed to have led to the Brisbane Roar resolving their contractual dispute last week and honouring the initial signed player agreements.
“Symbolically it’s important to recognise the sacrifices W-League players make, so the small step forward of having a safety net on par with NYL players is a move in the right direction,” said PFA Chief Executive John Didulica.
“The big challenge for the sport is to build a cohesive and expanded professional pathway that will enable international success and the W-League to be the jewel in the crown of women’s sport.”
While not substantive, the minimum payments signal a small change in the W-League with several players in the past stating they have never been paid a cent for participating in the W-League.
Minimum payments will also have a knock on effect for players who become injured during the season with income protection providing some funds, where previously zero sum contracts have resulted in additional penalisation of players.
Some past players have raised questions in relation to the payments and actual expenses incurred by players.
I wonder how many players in the W-League actually pay out of their pocket to play? Once you pay your insurance , petrol , tolls etc ???????
— Catherine Cannuli (@cannuli_13) October 19, 2016
This news is the starting point for the W-League Working Party as they look to try and formalise a future W-League Collective Bargaining Agreement.