The captain of Barcelona, Alexia Putellas, lifts the F League champions’ cup 22-23. Toni Albir (EFE)
The highest category of women’s football will stop this weekend. The players of the 16 teams that make up the F League will not participate in the 8 matches scheduled for the opening day that would have started yesterday, just 20 days after the Spanish team was proclaimed world champion. The point of the agreement that brings back the employers and unions (Futpro, AFE, Futbolistas ON, CCOO and UGT) is the minimum wage. Next Tuesday, both agents will meet to avoid the strike also called for the second day.
The current collective agreement places the minimum wage at 16,000 euros per year—a little more than the 1,080 euros per month represented by the Minimum Interprofessional Wage—and a partiality of 75%. This figure collides with the 186,000 euros that, at least, footballers who play in the First Division of Spanish professional football will receive this season.
The F League initially offered a 40% increase in the minimum wage in three years and an increase this year of 2,000 euros, in addition to improving working conditions. Thus, the soccer players would go from the 18,000 euros planned for this year to 25,000 in 2026. After the unions’ refusal, the employers offered 20,000 euros per year in minimum salary with the same increase in three years.
For the union representatives, that figure was still far from their expectations. In the first instance, the players wanted to reach 25,000, although in this last meeting they had dropped to 23,000 euros per year with three years of progressive increases to 30,000 euros. These amounts are “unviable” for an employer association that claims that they could mean “the economic collapse of the competition and, therefore, the failure of women’s professional football.”
The F League described the unions in a statement issued last Wednesday as “irresponsible”: “The lack of spirit and vision of the unions leads clubs and players to a strike that seriously damages the image of football. Spanish feminine”.
Futpro, one of the unions participating in the negotiation, remembers the recent success of the Spanish team in the World Cup held this summer in Australia and New Zealand: “The F League is one of the best leagues in the world in terms of talent, where the most of the current world champions, so the salary of its protagonists must be in accordance with this. If this does not happen, we will lose that talent in favor of foreign leagues that do provide them with decent working conditions.”
The unions emphasize that, given the moment of expansion that this sport is experiencing in Spain, it is key to defend the labor rights of female soccer players and to have the commitment that the institutions that make up this industry are committed to its development and the well-being of the women. athletes.
The F League in figures
Since the professionalization of the league in the 21-22 season, the competition has focused attention. In that first league season the teams closed in the red: the then Primera Iberdrola, earned 18.1 million euros compared to the 38.1 million they recorded in losses, that is, a negative balance of 20 million euros.
According to the Balance of the situation of Women’s Football 2021-2022 presented by the Higher Sports Council (CSD), the main source of income for the clubs were sponsorship and marketing agreements, which accounted for 39.5% of the total income of The clubs came from sponsorship and marketing agreements. Box office and television rights accounted for 34%.
A single club, FC Barcelona, concentrated 46% of the competition’s total ordinary income that season. In terms of television and advertising income, Barça accumulated 60.8% and 56.9% respectively of the ordinary income of the rest of the clubs.
The 22-23 season has been a step forward. Sponsorships increased 11.3% compared to last season. There are a total of 168 agreements from 141 brands, according to data from Strock Consulting, which add up to an increase in the consumption of this sport through audiovisual media by 6.1 points, as reflected in the 2022 Sports Habits Survey carried out by the CSD.
The salary gap between male and female players
The Women’s Soccer World Cup held this summer in Australia and New Zealand has been the latest example of the great difference that exists in the salaries received by men and women.
By winning the trophy in Sydney, the Spanish team earned almost four million euros for the federation and 248,000 for each champion, triple what the United States team won in the 2019 World Cup.
Even so, the figure is still far from the numbers of the World Cup in Qatar, in which the Argentine federation pocketed 38.5 million euros and its players, 340,000.
The president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, recently declared that the organization’s objective is to equalize the prizes for the men’s World Cup in 2026 and the women’s World Cup in 2027. The highest body in football is leading the way towards equality, but the main obstacle presented by clubs and federations that of the income of their teams.
The money that comes to men’s soccer is not the same as that of women’s. In the direct comparison between leagues, League F has income for this year of 99 million euros – according to the president, Beatriz Álvarez, to be distributed over several seasons – compared to the 33,000 million euros that LaLiga received in season 22. -2. 3.
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