Wales reaches landmark equal pay deal

Welsh internationals Jess Fishlock, Aaron Ramsey, Sophie Ingle and Brennan Johnson
Welsh internationals Jess Fishlock, Aaron Ramsey, Sophie Ingle and Brennan Johnson

Wales’ senior male and female players will receive the same salary to represent their country for the first time.

The Football Association of Wales [FAW] have agreed to a deal that will see equal pay take effect immediately.

Wales’ senior men’s team have agreed to a 25 per cent pay cut to allow for a 25 per cent raise for the women’s team, which will mean parity to represent Wales.

“I’m really happy with equal pay, it’s about equality,” said Wales boss Gemma Grainger.

“Together Stronger has been the Cymru National Teams mantra for all of us on and off the pitch as we seek to put Wales on the world stage,” the Wales men’s and women’s squads said. in a joint statement.

“As part of the FAW’s drive for equality, we are now proud to announce that together our men’s and women’s teams have agreed to an equal pay structure for future international matches.

“We hope this will allow future generations of boys and girls to see that there is equality in Welsh international football, which is important for society as a whole.”

The new equal pay agreement runs until 2027.

Women of Wales have never been paid as The men of Wales to play international football, but Grainger, who recently signed a new contract to remain national team boss until 2027, says she believes paying her team equally will send a powerful message.

“We want our players to embody Together Stronger, working with the men’s team is something we want to continue,” she told BBC Sport Wales.

“I hope this collaboration will continue to grow.

“Equality and making sure what we have here is equal is so important to us. Women’s football is growing and will continue to grow.”

Wales joins other nations such as the United States of AmericaEngland, Brazil, Australia, Norway and New Zealand paying their players the same international match fee.

Scotland women’s national football team take legal action against Scottish FA in a fight for equal pay and conditions after talks broke down.

Talks about striking a new pay deal to give parity to women in Wales have been ongoing for over a year, with talks initially taking place in November 2021.

FAW chief executive Noel Mooney has had ongoing discussions with Wales’ women’s leadership group, which includes Wales’ most capped player Jess Fishlock, women’s captain Sophie Ingle and top scorer of Wales Helen Ward.

An equal pay deal has been accelerated by the Wales men agreeing to a reduction in their international match fee, with all members of Robert Page’s squad unanimously agreeing to do so.

“The FAW is a modern, progressive movement that seeks to improve every day,” Mooney said.

This is another step towards becoming one of the biggest sports organizations in the world and we thank the men’s and women’s teams for their brilliant cooperation in reaching an agreement.”

Analysis – BBC Sport Wales’ Michael Pearlman

Wales’ slogan since before the incredibly successful 2016 Men’s European Championship campaign has been ‘Together Stronger’. For the first time, this slogan is a reality.

The notion of ‘Together Stronger’ holds significant meaning for Wales supporters, Cymru’s red wall, with Welsh football suddenly comes alive with a thriving fan culture. Wales, traditionally known as a rugby country, is now awash with bucket hats.

However, until now, Together Stronger has been an advertising slogan, albeit an extremely effective one. Now, that can truly be considered an ethos.

Not only has the FAW delivered on its promise to continue to do all it can to promote the women’s game – which is already receiving record revenues in Wales – but it is now telling the world that it values ​​the women’s team of the same way as the men’s team.

It’s important that the Wales men’s team agree to lower their match fee as it shows they support what will hopefully be a historic change in Welsh sport.

Women’s football in Wales has seen an explosion in popularity which is reflected in increased attendance and record crowds for Gemma Grainger’s side.

The message to young people in Wales is clear. Wales are valuing the next Sophie Ingle in the same way as the next Aaron Ramsey.

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