Matildas: Australian women's football team to be paid the same as men
6 November 2019, 10:07 | Updated: 6 November 2019, 13:09
Australia's national women's football team have secured a new pay deal which means they will share the revenues created by the sport with the men's team, paving the way for equal pay.
The new agreement means both teams, known as the Matildas and the Socceroos, will now share an equal split of commercial revenues, with the aim of closing the gender pay gap between the teams.
The four-year-deal will mean that female players will receive a wage that is directly tied to revenue, the same as the men's team, with both squads getting an equal share of 24% of income in 2019/20 - rising by 1% each year.
A new centralised contract system is also part of the deal, meaning the top female players will earn exactly the same wage as the men's team.
The women will also have their parental leave policy reviewed with the aim of offering higher levels of support during pregnancies and subsequent return to the team.
Australia's Matildas will also now also see a number of other improvements, including a higher level of coaching, with the team's training now mirroring that of the men's team and a renegotiation of sponsorship deals, to bring them inline with their male counterparts.
The women's team will also now be able to travel business class when going overseas - a perk only previously afforded to the men's team.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Chris Nikou said: "Football is the game for everyone, and this new [deal] is another huge step toward ensuring that we live the values of equality, inclusivity and opportunity.
"For the first time, player remuneration will be directly tied to the revenues generated by our National Teams - this will create a sustainable financial model that incentivises players and FFA to collaborate and grow the commercial pie together."
Mr Nikou added: "This is truly a unique agreement.
"Every national team, from the Socceroos and Matildas, down to the youth national teams as well as the Cerebral Palsy National Teams have been contemplated in this new [deal]."
The pay gap between men and women's football has been a controversial issue for many governing bodies across the world, particularly since the Women's World Cup earlier in the year.
At the time the Matildas launched a campaign calling for an end to the difference in prize money that the teams receive at their respective tournaments.
In March, the US women's team sued its governing body, alleging gender discrimination in pay and working conditions.
The US won the World Cup in France, and received $4m (£3.1m) from a pool of $30m (£23m), whereas France won the men's tournament in 2018 and took home $38m (£29.5m) from a pool of $400m (£310m).
(c) Sky News 2019: Matildas: Australian women's football team to be paid the same as men