Richard Hinds notes in this article that:

“Football’s rise in the national consciousness is not yet matched by a significant increase in revenue.”

We thought it would be interesting to run a fact check on that statement (within the limited information publicly available). 

In 2004: 

  • total FFA revenue was $13.7 million
  • there was a loss of $4.1 million
  • the A-League salary cap was $1.5 million in 2005-06
  • the salary cap was 10.9% of total revenue
  • the base payment for a Socceroo win was $500 for each player and, for the purposes of comparison as it cannot be confirmed, $50 for each Matildas player. 

In 2014:

  • total FFA revenue was $136 million
  • the surplus was $7.3 million
  • the A-League salary cap was $2.5 million
  • the salary cap was 1.8% of total revenue
  • the base payment for a standard international game (not a World Cup game) was $6,500 for each Socceroos squad member and $500 for each Matildas squad member 
  • some Matildas players also receive an annual payment by way of salary of $21,000.

In a 10-year period:

  • revenue increased by $122.3 million, or 893%
  • the overall financial position improved by $11.4 million
  • the salary cap increased by $1 million or 67%, an increase of less than 1% of the total increase in revenue
  • the increase in the base payment for the Socceroos was $6,000 per game per player (1,200%), and for the Matildas was an estimated $450 per game per player (800%). 

FFA has other activities to fund beyond the A-League, the Socceroos and Matildas but this fact check suggests that, from a ‘whole of game’ perspective, the players may have a point about their share not keeping pace with revenue (although bonuses and revenue share of prize winnings have not been taken into account). 

Between the three groups that are part of the claim: 

  • the Socceroos have a non-existent argument.
  • in terms of proportionate increase, the Matildas are not far behind the pace (at 800% compared with 893%) with their base match payment but this does not take account of their $21,000 annual payment. They also come from a lower base, and there are broader issues of equity and value which must be addressed and assessed against the revenue share FFA is able to generate from the Matildas ‘brand’, and 
  • as a proportion of total revenue, the A-League salary cap has fallen significantly and A-League players are the relative ‘losers’. 

​Based on these data, the PFA and FFA should settle their dispute along the following lines:

  • drop the Socceroos claim altogether;
  • improve the pay and conditions package for the Matildas;
  • increase the A-League salary cap for 2015-16 to $2.6 million and plot a path to increasing it over five years to an agreed proportion of revenue. The 2004 level of more than 10% may be too much in this timeframe; the 2014 level of less than 2% is not an equitable distribution in light of the revenue generated by the competition.  

Categories: Analysis | Socceroos | A-League | Women

ffa, ffa revenues, socceroos, matildas, a-league, pay equity

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