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FFA open to lifting Matildas’ wages

Football Federation Australia (FFA) says it is open to lifting the Matildas’ derisory wage, if the Socceroos or A-League players are willing to pay for it.

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The Matildas stunned FFA by boycotting a two-match tour of the United States because of their stalled deal for a new pay agreement.

A vicious war of words between FFA and player representatives, Professional Footballers’ Australia (PFA), has followed their controversial action but, on Friday, a glimmer of light appeared for a potential deal.

To this point, the Socceroos, Matildas and A-League players have all been combined in talks for a ‘whole of game’ agreement.

Both FFA and PFA suggested they would be open to considering a Matildas-only deal that would lead to the Australian women’s team resuming their preparations for Olympic Games qualifiers.

FFA says the price of doing that would come from the overall player pool.

“We’ve made it clear that total player payments to players need to be affordable,” a spokesperson said.

“FFA allocates $30 million a year to the A-League, Socceroos and Matildas and the way is open to reallocate money to the Matildas.

“It’s up to the PFA to support a redistribution of funds from men’s salaries to women’s salaries. The PFA hasn’t done that.”

PFA chief executive Adam Vivian said if a separate deal was tabled, he would put it to the Matildas.

“Under our statutes and our obligations, we would have to take that to the players … as it currently stands, there’s nothing in writing so we’re not in that position,” he said.

“We haven’t walked away from the negotiating table.”

Vivian said the Socceroos “had offered to reduce payments under the forecasted model” to improve the Matildas’ wage.

But it remains to be seen whether a magical figure can be agreed on.

Matildas defender Laura Alleway suggested the team would require a substantial bump from their $21,000 annual base pay.

“We put in just as much time as the men do and we don’t expect to get as much as the men do but at least give us the common courtesy to pay us minimum wage,” she said.

It is understood the tabled offer from FFA lifted the Matildas to above minimum wage over four years, with annual increases of 10 per cent in years one and two and 15 per cent in years three and four.

Despite their poor pay, FFA hit back at the suggestion the Matildas were undervalued.

“FFA invested $2.1 million in the Matildas’ campaign for the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” a statement read.

“That allowed the players to be full-time for six months and to achieve the best ever result of an Australian national team at a World Cup.”

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