U.S. Soccer offers equal pay to USMNT and USWNT… kinda?

Yay!  Yay?  Wait.

Yay! Yay? Wait.
Drawing: Getty Images

It has been one of the most enduring sagas in American sport, as the United States Women’s National Team seeks either a new contract or a resolution of their lawsuit against US Soccer that allows them to achieve huge. earnings earnings to represent their country. American football would be did you believe that he recently made an offer that will solve everyone’s problem. But like everything else in this fight, it doesn’t seem so clear.

US Soccer says its offer is the exact same contract for both teams, to combine them under one CBA. They said in the past that they already offered this to women, and it was rejected. USWNT says it never happened, although when the the judge threw that part of their lawsuit against US Soccer he agreed with the organization.

Giving women the same payment deal to play isn’t as easy as it sounds. The women’s team has a salary structure for its top players, decided each year by the manager of the national team, which they receive regardless of their level of appearance for the national team. The men’s team is only paid when called up to the national team. Whether women want to give up is a question, because obviously their salary with their club teams is not close to what men earn with their club teams. That’s a six-figure salary for each of them, and that’s a lot of money to give up, depending on how the pay-to-play numbers come in.

But that’s not the real talking point with US Soccer’s latest offering, although the details aren’t clear. US Soccer said in its offer that World Cup bonuses, a major sticking point for the women’s team, would be equalized. He doesn’t really say how, however. What we do know is that for the 2022 Men’s World Cup, each team will share $ 440 million. For the 2023 Women’s World Cup, each team will share $ 60 million in prizes. Obviously, these are not equal. We can synthesize that what US Soccer is proposing, and this is only speculation, is to pool the two sets of prize money and distribute them equally between the men and women who participate in these World Cups. . Depending on the progress of each team in their respective tournaments, this pool could increase.

What is… a solution? Whether this is the best solution … it’s hard to get the. Yes, that would equalize the wages between the two teams, which was the stated goal. And maybe that’s enough for everyone. Although it’s pretty hard to imagine the men’s team taking a pay cut, and a big enough cut, to even out women’s pay. Maybe they’re just so nice.

What is that kind of feel that US Soccer is putting the responsibility for equal pay on the men’s team, and if USMNT balks at this proposal, then US Soccer can wipe its hands and say it’s their fault. men’s team and there is nothing more they can do. Again, this is all speculation, but it sure is what it feels like.

The US Soccer offer might only contain the same percentage of World Cup bonuses, which would not be of equal value given the disparity in prize money between the two tournaments. We do not know yet. Is this a satisfactory solution? While we have talked a lot about countries like Brazil and England the announcement of equal pay for their men’s and women’s teams, all that involves is what the FA pays for invitations, friendlies and matches outside FIFA and UEFA competitions. When it comes to those with cash prizes, all these FAs have promised their women’s teams are the same percentage in cash prizes that men receive. No equal money.

The other problem associated with the former is that if that deal doesn’t work, there’s not much US Soccer can do to equalize World Cup prizes. As we said, the men’s teams share $ 440 million in Qatar. The women’s teams will share $ 60 million in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. US Soccer just doesn’t know the difference between those two totals lying around under the couch cushions. And as unsympathetic as US Soccer is, it shouldn’t be their job to fix FIFA’s problems.

Like I said many times, the real fight is with FIFA, who decides who gets what for the World Cup. When selling TV rights or sponsorship, FIFA does not distinguish between the two competitions. When FOX bought the TV rights, they bought them as a package, as do every other broadcast company in the world. When Coca-Cola sponsors it, it sponsors both. There has to be an argument to be made somewhere that this entitles women’s teams to a lot more than what they are currently receiving. But browsing the laws of international tribunals could be a puzzle that the USWNT doesn’t want or could just be beyond them.

US Soccer would like everyone to believe the finish line is in sight. You can pretend that when you’re constantly moving the goalposts… and who you’re moving them for.

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