Whether you're AFL, football, union, league, tennis, golf, surfing or professional curling, the recent Matildas equal pay decision is a landmark moment for pay equality in sport. But to a lot of people, it seems completely unjustified. Here's what you should tell them.
1. INVESTING IN FEMALES IS A SMARTER INVESTMENT
If you want to boil it down to raw economics, women's football is simply a smart investment right now.
Women's sport is experiencing a vastly accelerated growth rate compared to men's sport, meaning if you’re a governing body, greater investment in elite female players makes stronger economic sense if you want a return on your investment.
This deal will crucially allow the Matildas to continue expanding upon on their current growth trajectory, creating greater overall revenue for Football Federation Australia in the long-term.
Now, you might say, 'But we're only talking about individual player wages here?'
Well, for a start, we're not. This 'equal pay' principle actually also applies to equal treatment in terms of access to backroom staff, physios, training conditions and air travel. These are all factors that are included in equal pay negotiations.
But even if we were, the principle still applies. From the perspective of a sporting organisation, you get a greater economic return for investing in poorer elite athletes over richer ones.
A Matilda currently on around $60,000 a year is statistically more likely to put that wage increase towards factors that will improve her on-field performance, than a male Socceroo on $120,000 plus endorsements, who is generally more likely to invest it in that new Ferrari they've been eyeing off.
So that's one reason it makes sense, but why do they deserve it?