USWNT refute US Soccer claims they earn more than men

30 July 2019 | Social Responsibility
USWNT refute US Soccer claims they earn more than men
The ongoing pay dispute between the United States women’s national team (USWNT) and US Soccer looks set to rumble on after the federation’s President, Carlos Cordeiro, claimed its women’s players were paid more than their male counterparts between 2010 and 2018.

The USWNT have gathered much public support after filing a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer over equal pay in March, four months before retaining the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

However, Cordeiro hit back on Monday in an open letter and accompanying fact sheet published on the US Soccer website, saying he had commissioned ‘extensive analysis’ of the governing body’s ‘financials’ over the past ten years.

According to the study, the federation has paid out US$34.1 million in salary and game bonuses to the women from 2010 through 2018, compared to US$26.4 million to the men.

Meanwhile, the report noted that women’s players contracted to the national team have a base salary of US$100,000, while the men have no guaranteed salary and only get paid for training camps, games and bonuses.

In addition, it was claimed that the men’s team has generated more revenue than the USWNT over the past decade, bringing in US$185.7 million over 191 game from 2009 to 2019, while the women generated US$101.3 million over 238 games in that time.

A previous report in the Wall Street Journal had found that the USWNT generated more revenue (US$50.8 million) than the men (US$49.9 million) in the three years after their 2015 Women’s World Cup triumph.

The USWNT have already hit back at Cordeiro’s letter in a statement labelling the financial analysis as ‘utterly false’.

‘This is a sad attempt by USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress,’ the statement added.

‘The USSF has repeatedly admitted that it does not pay the women equally and that it does not believe the women even deserve to be paid equally.’

Cordeiro’s letter also claimed that the US men’s and women’s national teams have ‘different pay structures’ because ‘each of the teams have negotiated for different compensation models’ with US Soccer.

However, the USWNT refuted this particular claim, stating that US Soccer had ‘refused’ their request for an equal compensation package.

‘The fact is the women's team requested the same compensation structure as the men have, so they would be paid equally for equal performance,’ the statement continued.

"USSF refused, ordering lower compensation in every category for the women's team in a pay for performance structure.

‘That is patently unequal pay. The USSF fact sheet is not a "clarification". It is a ruse. Here is what they cannot deny. For every game a man plays on the MNT he makes a higher base salary payment than a woman on the WNT. For every comparable win or tie, his bonus is higher.

‘That is the very definition of gender discrimination. For the USSF to believe otherwise is disheartening but it only increases our determination to obtain true equal pay. If the USSF cannot agree to this at the upcoming mediation, we will see them in the court of law and the court of public opinion.’

The USWNT’s lawsuit claims that each player earns an average of about US$8,200 less per game than their male counterparts over the course of a 20-game international friendly calendar year.

Since announcing the lawsuit, the USWNT have received a raft of public and corporate goodwill, with consumer goods manufacturer Proctor and Gamble becoming the first US Soccer sponsor to call for equal pay earlier this month when it pledged to donate US$23,000 to each of the 23 players in the Women’s World Cup-winning squad.

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