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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 09 November 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2019 27 SPORT New deal gives Matildas fairer slice of revenue GEORGE STOGIANNOU A new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and FFA (Football Federation Australia) is being hailed as a landmark agreement for Women's Football which aims to narrow the pay gap between male and female professional footballers. The new agreement includes several key features and covers the senior national teams of men and women. Key features of the new agreement include: A new revenue-sharing model designed to reduce the pay gap between the Matildas and the Socceroos. Under this model, revenue generated by both the Socceroos and Matildas through broadcasting, merchandising, sponsorship and match days, will be pooled together. Nineteen per cent of the pool will be split equally between the Matildas and the Socceroos. That will increase by 1 per cent each year until the end of the CBA in 2023. The Matildas and Socceroos have agreed to a further 5 per cent of the revenue pool to be re-invested in the National Youth teams. Under the new CBA, the players will take home a greater share of the tournament prize money for qualifying for the World Cup and Asian Cup, and also an increased share of the prize moneys the Federation receives for the teams qualifying for the knockout phases of both tournaments. FFA's Parental Leave Policy will be reviewed to provide more support for Matildas during pregnancy and during their return to the national team following pregnancy. Under the CBA, the Matildas will receive identical resourcing as the Socceroos for high performance set-ups and also access to business class flights for international games. The new CBA provides increased funding to the PFA for its Player Development Program to help provide enhanced player well-being and development support to it na- tional team players. The CBA will allocated 0.5 per cent of the national teams pooled revenue to the PFA's Football Trust fund which helps to fund Australia's Cerebral Palsy National teams. The new CBA is being hailed as a landmark in addressing the large pay disparity between men and women in football. Whilst this continues at the domestic club level in Australia and around the world, at least it ensures greater equity on the national team front. For instance, the Socceroos get most of their earnings from the game from their club contracts, however the Matildas earn much less that their male counterparts from club contracts, because of the reduced commercial revenues associated with the women's domestic club football. The new CBA represents a concerted move towards pay equity, beginning at the national team level, ensuring that both national teams get an equal slice of the pie generated by the national teams. It provides the possibility of a greater financial security for those female players aspiring to play the game at the highest level. Commenting on the new CBA announced on Wednesday, FFA Chairman, Chris Nikou said, "Football is the game for everyone, and this new CBA is another huge step toward ensuring that we live the val- ues 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. "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 CBA. "With this CBA, the next generation of aspiring Australian kids can see a pathway that offers a sustainable career, a chance to be an Olympian, and the lure of playing at a FIFA World Cup - regardless of your gender. It means whether you are a male or female, the value football places on your jersey is no different. We are proud to break this new ground in Australian and world sport." PFA Chief Executive John Didulica also welcomed the agreement. "This is a unique deal in (L-R) Matilda and PFA Executive Committee Member Elise Kellond-Knight, FFA Head of Game Development Sarah Walsh and PFA Deputy Chief Executive Kathryn Gill during the announcement of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the Australian Women’s and Men’s National Football Teams. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE, JAMES GOURLEY world football and we believe sets the model for all federations and players – male and female – who can take the game to unlock the incredible social and commercial opportunity that, in particular, women's football presents." The deal is based on the principles of partnership, equality and investment. The players of today are investing in the future of Australian football because they believe in the game and they believe in each other." Talented Melbourne City teen Nia prepares for her second W-League Season GEORGE STOGIANNOU Fresh from representing the Junior Matildas at the AFC U 16's Women's Championship tournament in Thailand recently, young Melbournebased midfielder Nia Stamatopoulos is preparing for her second season of the W-League as part of the Melbourne City squad where her team mates include six Matildas and fellow Greek Australian footballer Sofia Sakalis. Stamatopoulos and Sakalis are amongst a handful of Greek-Australian footballers who will be part of W-League squads this coming season, including Angelique Hristodoulou and Teresa Polias at Sydney FC and Pana Petratos at Newcastle Jets. Speaking to Neos Kosmos on the eve of the 12th W-League season, Stamatopoulos says she is excited to be back training with the Melbourne City squad following her first season, in which she became the club's youngest ever WLeague debutante. The squad includes six Matildas players, rivalled in number only by Brisbane Roar's squad. The year 10 student says, "I love it personally, having the older more experienced players there. They're just so professional. It just shows on and off the pitch. At training how they push themselves! The difference between normal NPL training to this is a massive step up." Matildas in the Melbourne City squad include players such as Lydia Williams, Steph Catley, Emily Van Egmond, Ellie Carpenter, Kyah Simon and Emma Checker. The squad also includes experienced visa players, Claire Emslie and Yu- kari Kinga. After winning three succes- sive W-League grand finals in their first three seasons since joining in 2015, the team fell back to earth last season finishing in 5th place. Stamatopoulos says that after the disappointment of last season, the teams wants to "come back and finish first in the premiership". "That's our biggest team goal," she says. On a personal note, she's hoping to get a bit more game time or at least make the most of the minutes she gets. "Be- cause I feel like I can offer a lot more this season as well," Stamatopoulos says. "To keep on improving, taking as much as I can out of the Matildas and the international professionals. Just learning from it and making the most of this opportunity." Nia Stamatopoulos is excited to be part of City team that aims to challenge for Silverware. PHOTO: MELBOURNE CITY.COM The recent AFC tournament in Thailand brought her term with the Junior Matildas to a close. She looks back at her time with the Junior Matildas as an integral part of her football and personal development. Playing in tournaments with the Matildas took her to far-flung Kyrzygstan, Thailand and the Pacific Islands. "That's also been a massive theme as well, just to see what it's like in other countries. Just to know what it's like (experiencing) different food, different cultures, weather. That's definitely helped. You're taking lessons from that. What to do, when to do it." Her next goal at national team level is to earn selection and become part of the Young Matildas. Currently studying at Maribynong Secondary College and contemplating tertiary studies in either Sports Science or Sports Journalism, Stamatopoulos will be part of the new Football Victoria Emerging Matildas Program in 2020, once the W-League season ends. According to the Football Victoria website, the new program "will allow Victorian-based players to undertake training in a high-performance environment without the need to relocate interstate or overseas. Players will have access to coaching and support staff with prior experience of Australian National Senior and Youth Team programs across Men and Women."
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