U.S. Soccer announces equal pay agreement with women's and men's teams
The United States Soccer Federation, along with the country's men's and women's teams, agreed to landmark collective bargaining agreements Wednesday that will ensure equal pay on both sides.
"This is a truly historic moment," U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said. "These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world."
Terms of the USMNT's and USWNT's historic CBAs include equal compensation for all competitions and the launch of an identical commercial revenue sharing mechanism for the men's and women's national teams.
The agreements, which run through 2028, are unrivaled in world soccer; U.S. Soccer is now the first federation to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money. The USMNT and USWNT will be awarded identical prizes for their participation in the tournament going forward.
In the past, there have been large discrepancies in prize money, with the men earning considerably more despite inferior results at the World Cup compared to their female compatriots. The men's team received $9 million after reaching the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, while $4 million was awarded to the women's squad for winning the 2019 Women's World Cup.
"U.S. Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States." Cone added.
Wednesday's announcement is expected to bring an end to the six-year legal battle between the women's team and the U.S. Soccer Federation over fair salaries and working conditions.
"There’s many models you could have taken to equalize World Cup prize money. This is just the one that we landed on,” executive director of the USWNT players' association Becca Roux said, according to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
U.S. Soccer also agreed to equal venues and playing fields, charter flights, and accommodations at games and training camps.
Both teams will share a portion of broadcast, partner, and sponsorship revenues as well.
Per U.S. Soccer's release, other terms of the agreement include:
- For friendly games, players on the USWNT and USMNT will be paid identical roster appearance fees and performance payments based on the outcome of the match and the rank of the opponent, with identical tiering structures. Players not on the game roster will earn the equivalent of an appearance fee for their participation in a senior national team camp.
- The CBAs provide that USWNT players will no longer receive guaranteed salaries, and those who play in the NWSL will no longer have their NWSL salaries paid by U.S. Soccer.
- For non-World Cup tournaments, the CBAs ensure that players on both teams will earn an equal amount of the total prize money paid when both teams participate in the same competition.
- U.S. Soccer will pay the USWNT and USMNT players a share of the revenue from tickets sold at U.S. Soccer-controlled home matches and a bonus amount for those games that are sellouts.