Footballers' union registers record growth after huge equal pay win

The Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the union representing Australia's professional football (soccer) players, registered a third straight year of record membership at its November 20 Annual General Meeting.

The AGM was held just two weeks after the PFA secured a world-first equal pay deal for the Australian women's team, the result of a strong campaign by woman footballers backed by the PFA and supported by their male counterparts.

The PFA now enjoys record membership of almost 700 players, a 17% increase on the previous year. The PFA represents players across the Socceroos and Matildas (the men's and women national teams), A-League, W-League and Y-League (top flight national men's women and youth leagues), NPL (state-based leagues) and overseas based players. It has also ensured the coverage of every Australian footballer by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, with the extension of the A-League and W-League CBA.

But the PFA's big ticket win is equal pay for the Matildas. 

On November 6, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) and PFA struck a new landmark CBA that closes the pay gap between the Socceroos and Matildas. This historic deal is the first example of a national women's footballing team winning pay equality with their male counterparts in the world.

Under the new, four-year CBA will see the Socceroos and Matildas receive a 24% share of an agreed aggregate of National Team Generated Revenues in 2019/20, rising by 1% each year of the deal.

The PFA said: "The new agreement reflects football’s determination to address issues of gender equity in all facets of the game."