Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) will form a joint Working Party to ensure the continued growth of the Westfield W-League including the establishment of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for W-League players.
The Working Party will include representatives from FFA and the PFA as well as the Westfield W-League clubs. It will build on the existing strong foundations and agree achievable targets for the future in the following areas:
• Competition structure
• Competition format
• Club infrastructure
• Players' terms and conditions.
“Football has had a national women's league since we launched the Westfield W-League in 2008/9 and has enjoyed strong growth over that period,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“The Matildas have had a CBA in place for 6 years. The common goal of the FFA and the PFA is to lead the way by also establishing a CBA for the national league players.
One of the tasks of the Working Party will be to set a realistic timeframe and basis for achieving this.”
PFA CEO John Didulica said the players were committed to ensuring the Working Group was successful in advancing the interests of the sport.
“Football offers unparalleled career opportunities for an increasing number of young Australian women, through its position as the fastest growing team sport and through its established global pathways,” said Didulica.
“The Westfield W-League is a critical cornerstone of women’s football and a critical step toward international success. The PFA is looking forward to working with FFA and the clubs on building a women’s football competition of global significance.
“Building the W-League into a sustainable professional competition will establish a platform for the hundreds of thousands of young girls currently playing football and ensure our ongoing international success. The challenge of building this platform is one shared by everybody within, and connected to, football.”
The Working Party will have two important pieces of work to inform the considerations and shape outcomes, which are:
• research conducted by the PFA amongst its members on the Westfield W-League.
• FFA is finalising its annual review of the Westfield W-League with its clubs with an increasing focus on commercialisation of the league.
PFA Player Relations Executive and former Matildas captain Kathryn Gill said the establishment of the Working Group would better equip the sport to capitalise on the ever increasing profile of the nation’s players.
“The Westfield Matildas are fantastic role models for young females playing in the W-League and show that there are tremendous opportunities to represent Australia at the Olympics, Asian Cups and World Cups and play club football both here and abroad.”
Head of Westfield W-League Greg O’Rourke said the group would further enhance the solid foundations that have been built over the past eight seasons since the competitions inception.
“The focus now is on building a league which is sustainable but more professional on many levels to ensure growth for the club and players alike,” said O’Rourke.
“We need to ensure the platform allows us to move to more games for the players and fans with the addition of more rounds and potentially more teams. The growth of the league and the resulting revenues will work hand in hand with meeting the expectations of the community and players around wages and conditions.”