England’s Lionesses have publicly expressed their frustration over the failed attempts to reach a bonus agreement with the FA) ahead of the World Cup.
Kicking off their first game in Brisbane against Haiti this Saturday, Sarina Wiegman’s side will look to replicate its success in the European Championships last year.
The FA however has denied the Lionesses of performance-based bonuses for their tournament, forming a cause for concern amongst football players.
Taking the conversation on to Twitter, England captain Millie Bright stated that her team will temporarily put discussions on pause as they go into the World Cup, and will push for continued talks after their participation has concluded.
The statement further read: “Last year we presented the FA with concerns relating to our bonus and commercial structures. The hope was that discussions would lead to a solution before the commencement of our World Cup.
“We are disappointed that a resolution has still not been achieved.
“We view the successful conclusion of these discussions, through player input and a transparent long term plan, as key for the growth of women’s football in England.
“With our opening game on the horizon, we Lionesses have decided to pause discussions, with full intentions of revisiting them following the tournament.
“We collectively feel a strong sense of responsibility to grow the game. And while our focus now switches fully to the tournament ahead, we believe every tackle, pass and goal will contribute to the work we are committed to doing off the pitch.
“We look forward to playing for our country (at) this World Cup, with pride, passion and perseverance.”
Despite the FA so far not looking to veer away from its stance on bonuses, FIFA has recently introduced a new commercial model for this summer’s Women’s World Cup that incentivises good performance, giving players and teams more as they progress deeper into the tournament.
Jonas Linné, CEO of Forza Football, told InsiderSport that the decision of the FA represents ‘a clear step backwards in the journey to equal pay’.
Linné stated: “The news that the FA won’t be paying the Lionesses bonuses beyond FIFA’s payments, as the US and Australia do to their respective teams, shows a clear step backwards in the journey to equal pay, infrastructure and recognition of the women’s game – all initiatives that the FA has been promoting.
“Last year, the FA promised the England men’s team £400,000 to £450,000 per player for winning the World Cup, which is almost double of the £215,000 promised to the women’s team this year, while the Lionesses only received £55,000 each for winning the 2022 European Championships. If the FA can pay the men’s team beyond FIFA bonuses, why aren’t they giving the women’s team the same treatment?
“Players are also barred from participating in sponsorship campaigns by the FA, which obstructs the path to equal pay for female players. Equal pay starts with equal media exposure, visibility and sponsorship opportunities for women’s football.
“It’s clear from the surge in interest since the 2019 World Cup that the appetite is there, but without proper infrastructure and coverage of the games, these governing bodies will continue to underserve the women’s game for as long as they can get away with. If we can meet the appetite for women’s football with the media coverage it deserves, equal pay for female footballers should follow suit.”