MELBOURNE: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today unveiled its vision for women’s football in Australia by releasing its Grassroots to Greatness Roadmap.

Aimed at revolutionising the sport by transforming the W-League into among the best leagues in the world, and in the process powering the Matildas to World Cup and Olympic glory, the Roadmap outlines the path forward in establishing a genuine professional pathway for women.

Developed in consultation with PFA members following the findings of the player association’s Work Place Conditions Report, which revealed the depth of the commitment the players have to the sport, the Roadmap makes a number of key recommendations, including:

>> 60 @ 60: a collective bargaining agreement to provide for at least 60 players at $60K per annum over a four-year cycle;
a lawful minimum salary of $11,500 per W-League season for professional players;

>> a clear and cohesive career path for players from talented junior, to full-time professional, to international footballer;

>> PFA to develop a National Women’s Football Network to fund flexible employment for players by partnering with industry stakeholders and corporate and community partners;

>> implementation of a best-practice performance model as a condition of W-League entry;

>> a 10-team Competition Model structured to maximise commercial revenues, provide a world class product and have football integrity; and

>> integrating contributions from FFA, the clubs and Member Federations to build a sustainable financial model.

PFA Chief Executive John Didulica said the time for bold and decisive action was now.

“The one thing missing from Australia’s CV as a sporting nation is a global trophy from the global game,” said Didulica.

“Women’s football has the highest participation base among young girls in the country. Our National Team is amongst the very best in the world and our sport offers the prospect of international opportunity like no other. However, we are yet to fully leverage these competitive advantages through the establishment of a genuine professional pathway for our elite players.

“The goals of winning the World Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal are ambitious, and rightly so, as they must reflect our shared ambition of being the very best.

“To be the best, we need to be able to offer greatness.Through an increased investment of $1.5m we can revolutionise the W-League and make it among the best leagues in the world, and significantly grow our talent pool, which is fundamental to our international success, and ability to attract and retain the best talent.

PFA Player Relations Executive and former Matildas captain Kathryn Gill said the time was right for change and for the women’s game to be central to all aspects of the sport.

“The players understand intuitively that we can only tackle the challenges faced by the players if we improve the game for everyone,” said Gill, the Matildas all-time leading goal scorer.

“The women’s game has reached the point of being the largest participation sport for young girls by trading off the good-will of the football community. The time has come to make the women’s game a priority and use it to turbocharge football into the consciousness of Australians as the true global game and the sport of choice for women.”

Matildas goalkeeper and PFA Executive Committee Member Lydia Williams said greatness was within touching distance.

“Winning the World Cup and Olympic Gold Medal is within reach,” said Williams. “But to beat the best we need to have a bigger pool of professional players and we need standards on and off the pitch that reflect this ambition.

“We know this is going to take work. Things worth achieving are never easy and we know what we can achieve with this model, for the game, for the players and the thousands of young girls across Australia dreaming of becoming the next generation of Matildas”

Click here for a one page summary of the PFA Grassroots to Greatness Roadmap.

Beau Busch | PFA Player Relations and Communications Executive
PH: +61 (0) 432 763 485