Sunday, June 4, 2023

The soccer players claim salaries of 30,000 euros, a third of that in the Second Division, but “not realistic” for the F League

This Tuesday the 23rd was celebrated the International Women’s Soccer Day, an event that has been commemorated for just six years at the initiative of the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Football (Concacaf). What at first was a regional call ended up being global. Both its short lifespan and its subsequent expansion show the development that ‘futfem’ has experienced in recent times.

Many sporting and social battles won, but even more to come, as evidenced by the latest claim by the Spanish professional players, who They claim a base salary of 30,000 euros in 2026. To put it in comparison, it will be less than a third of what a Second Division player will earn at least after the update of the collective agreement, which has set a payment of 98,000 euros for that same year.

Unions denounce the blocking of the agreement

The claim by the soccer players, who this season have launched their professional category with the F-Leaguewas made public through a statement signed by the five unions that make up the negotiating table of the collective agreement: FUTPRO, AFEON, CCOO and UGT footballers. “After several months and a multitude of meetings since July 21, 2022, when the negotiating table was set up, it has not been possible to advance on any point of interest, since it was initially agreed to talk about the salary of the players,” they denounced.

Amanda Gutiérrez, president of the FUTPRO union, during an interview. EPE

Furthermore, the organizations accuse the employers of “delay decision making” and they are based on their figures to demand the salary increase. According to the figures of the F League, during the next five years, the competition will enter 35 million euros for the audiovisual rights sold to DAZN and 42 for commercial assets, after an agreement with LaLiga. In total, 77 million in five years, to which must be added an injection of 22.5 million by the CSD and the SAD to help with infrastructures for the next three years.

“The F League proposal, however, consists of increasing the salary to 16,500 euros for the 2022/2023 season, 17,500 euros for 2023/2024 and 19,000 for 2024/2025. An increase of 500 euros for this season that It lowers the purchasing power of soccer players who have been earning 16,000 euros since 2019″claim the unions, which have proposed the creation of a fund for scholarships and studies, among other measures.

League F: “A proposal that consumes all the income”

The note ends with a claim to “achieve decent working conditions in the first professional women’s league in the history of this country.” Precisely, on the last day there were several public demonstrations. The women’s Real Madrid and Real Sociedad covered the League F patch in the run-up to their meeting, a gesture that other teams already carried out last season to protest against the RFEF.

The action was seconded shortly after by the players of the Valencia, who followed his example in the match against Sevilla, as well as the footballers of Atlético and Granadilla. For its part, the F League has responded to these demands through another statement. “It is absolutely false that the Professional League has delayed the delivery of documentation or delayed decision-making,” the employer’s note begins.

The Valencia players cover the F League patch in the last match of the competition. DAZN

The organization ensures that “two of the three requests raised by the unions, the elimination of partiality and the retroactive nature of the 2022/2023 season, were accepted” and in terms of salary, “it was presented a proposal that increases the minimum conditions by more than 30% of the previous agreement.

The organizing entity of the first professional women’s football competition in Spain states that the minimum wage proposal put forward by the unions “would mean a global amount of more than 70 million for the next five years“, therefore, according to Liga F “this would mean allocating practically all of the anticipated commercial and audiovisual income and this, in the unreal assumption that all soccer players earn only the minimum wage“.

Beatriz Álvarez: “You cannot lose your whole life”

own Beatriz Alvarez Mesapresident of the employers’ association, defended that “If you enter ten you cannot spend 10 on the player’s salary, because that money has to be distributed among more positions. If we want to be professionals, we cannot kill the independent clubs and the loss-making clubs now. You can’t go at a loss all your life“. For which he insisted: “I would have already signed with a minimum salary of whatever, but you have to be realistic.”

It is not the first conflict faced by the F League, which a few days before the start of the season lived the strike of the referees, also unlocked with a salary increase and whose negotiation followed similar paths. “The proposal of the RFEF and the collegiate began, it did not endfor an arbitration receipt of 21,000 euros per game, trying to resemble it to the receipt of the men’s Second Division that generates 150 million euros. This would have meant an expense of five million euros per season, that is, 70% of audiovisual income,” the competition stated.

The president of the F League, Beatriz Álvarez, on the roof of the Madrid headquarters of El Periódico de España. XAVIER LOVED

The conflict over salary improvements is in the global debate on women’s football. The greatest equity has been achieved at the national team level, especially from the prizes and remuneration of temporary teams, where it is easier to reach agreements. In the list of federations that have achieved equality are Wales, United States, England, Brazil, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Finland or Australia.

The broadcast of the women’s World Cup, at risk in Europe

The number of agreements have increased in the run-up to the Australia and New Zealand World Cup, which should bring new impetus to women’s football. However, the international meeting has shown that words do not always turn into facts. Just a few months before the start of the tournament, Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, demanded a fair price for broadcast rights after “disappointing offers” of the televisions of the five great European countries.

“The audience figures for the Women’s World Cup are between 50% and 60% of those of the male and yet the proposals of broadcasters are twenty to one hundred times lower than those of the masculine“, denounced Infantino, alluding to the war of percentages and figures that is put on the table every time there is talk of claims. Following the logic of a business where an incipient party feels undervalued, while the other improves their minimum wages up to 182,000 euros in the First Division and 91,000 euros in the Second. An abysmal distance with the current 16,000 in women’s football and even the 30,000 to which it aspires.


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