The AFL and the Players’ Association have finally agreed on a pay deal for the new women’s competition.
Following revelations the initial pay structure would yield the majority of players a mere $5,000 during the competition, the minimum wage has now risen by $3,500.
Under the finalised agreement, marquee players will receive $27,000, which includes $10,000 for marketing and ambassadorial roles, the second tier, being priority draft selections, will receive $12,000, while the remaining listed players will receive $8,500.
The minimum wage is now in line comparatively with that of male rookies in the AFL.
“The AFLPA and players’ guiding principle throughout the negotiations with the AFL was achieving an outcome of equality between our female and male players,” AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh 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.”
AFL game development boss Simon Lethlean said the length and format of the first women’s season was designed so players could return to community and state-league level.
“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.”
As is the case for male footballers, the women will still have to pay for private health insurance, however the AFL will cover several other crucial costs:
- costs for football boots and runners
- a travel allowance when playing interstate
- income protection insurance
- out-of-pocket medical expenses for 52 weeks post-contract
- carers allowance for players travelling interstate who have a child under 12 months old.
The inaugural AFL women’s season will start in February and is an eight week competition.