The AFL and AFL Players’ Association have reached an agreement on the remuneration package NAB AFL Women’s players will receive in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
In 2017, marquee players will receive a financial package of $27,000 (inclusive of $10,000 for their marketing and ambassadorial role), the priority players $12,000 and the remaining listed players $8,500 for the seven match (plus Grand Final) season.
The packages will increase to $27,946, $12,846 and $9,276 respectively in 2018.
The AFL Commission recently approved an increase to the initial remuneration package offered to all players to contribute to the cost of the required level of private health insurance, as well as further raising the base level payment.
In addition to the package, the NAB AFL Women’s players will receive:
· Football boots and runners
· Travel allowance when playing interstate
· Income protection insurance
· Coverage for out-of-pocket medical expenses for the 52 weeks post contract
· An allowance to pay for a carer when travelling interstate in cases where a player has a child under 12 months
AFL General Manager, Game and Market Development, Simon Lethlean said the AFL had listened to the feedback and views of the AFLPA, and consulted with the women playing the game.
“We appreciate the support of our fans and the community in regards to the players,” Mr. Lethlean said.
“The AFL wants the NAB AFL Women’s Competition to succeed, and to be sustainable into the future.
“The league will be a semi-professional competition initially with players employed on a part-time basis, but we are keen for it to evolve into being fully professional as soon as possible.”
The AFL’s direct financial commitment to player salaries totals $2.275 million for the 2017 eight-week season before increasing to $2.454 million in 2018.
In addition, the AFL and the eight clubs granted licenses for Year 1 have thus far employed more than 20 players in roles across the industry, working in areas such as football operations, game development and player welfare.
AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh said the players were pleased that a fair outcome had been achieved, in particular that a level of parity had been established with the minimum wage set at a pro-rata amount of the male rookie salary.
“The AFLPA and players’ guiding principle throughout the negotiations with the AFL was achieving an outcome of equality between our female and male players,” he said.
“The players overwhelmingly voted in favour of accepting these payment terms and look forward to working in partnership with the AFL and clubs to make the AFL Women’s Competition the success we all know it will be.
“They can continue their AFL journeys knowing that they will now be presented with the same opportunities to thrive in the industry as their male colleagues.”
Mr. Lethlean said that the length and format of the inaugural season was designed to ensure the women could return to playing at the community and state-league level from April and continue the growth in women’s football.
“We have heard the call from some quarters for a fully professional league,” Mr. Lethlean said.
“But we have to build this competition from the ground up and part of that means that we have to invest in a new, un-tested national league, while being careful not to decimate the state and regional women’s football leagues.
“Keeping the foundations of women’s football strong is essential for the game to grow.”
NAB AFL Women’s players will be engaged with their club for nine hours per week during the pre-season training block (8 weeks) and nine hours plus match-days during the eight-week season, to help minimize distraction to their current employment and study commitments. They will also complete 20 hours of appearances under this agreement.
Mr. Lethlean said the AFL’s remuneration offer was benchmarked against other female domestic sports in Australia, the AFL competition and existing male state league competitions where the players are similarly semi-professional.
“We are pleased to have reached a great outcome which we believe is a fair deal for the players who will be part of the historic inaugural AFL Women’s season,” he said.