Football_Federation_Australia_logoFootball Federation Australia (FFA) announced Friday it has settled a bitter pay dispute with top players, and women in particular, to earn more money.

Professional Footballers Association (PFA) chief executive Adam Vivian said the “landmark” four-year deal signed Friday would “advance football in Australia with increased professionalism while securing the careers of Australia’s elite footballers”.

Top women will receive $41,000 (US$29,270) a year while the next level would earn $30,000 plus match fees and daily allowances.

“Our elite female players deserve a full-time professional career path in football and this agreement represents a solid foundation we can build on,” Vivian said.

The minimum salary for A-League players goes up from $51,000 to $55,000 with the overall club salary cap lifted to $2.6 million immediately and a minimum of $2.8 million for the 2017-18 season.

The deal also builds in annual inflation increases, improves entitlements, insurances, medical services, education and support for the transition and life post football, he added.

Federation chief executive David Gallop said the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) would provide the economic foundation for a renewed period of growth.

“Working through and achieving the Whole of Game CBA with the PFA has been a challenge and produced difficult moments,” he admitted.

“Crucially, we are also pleased this deal protects the interests of the club owners, whose ongoing investment in the A-League is critical to the growth of the game.

“We will now work together to ensure four years of sustainable growth for the game.”

Months of stop-start negotiations saw the “Socceroos” national side boycott a commercial event in September and the “Matildas” national women’s team withdraw from a training camp which prompted the cancellation of a planned tour of the United States.

The PFA has long demanded improved salary and conditions from clubs who pleaded they were already losing money and could not afford to pay more. – Agence France-Presse

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