FIFPro Sets Out Road Map To Relaunch Women’s Professional Football
FIFPro has launched Raising Our Game, a report on women’s professional football which puts players at the heart of the planned development and rebuilding of the sport after the coronavirus pandemic.
The report, compiled with KPMG Football Benchmark, charts the economic evolution of the game, covering match-day attendance, TV audiences and sponsorship, and details player conditions at club and national team level.
Raising Our Game calls for football stakeholders to work together with the world player’ union and its 65 affiliated player associations to establish and enforce global standards for working conditions in order to achieve a strong, vibrant and sustainable women’s game.
FIFPro General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, said: “We are conscious that we are releasing this report during an extremely uncertain and worrying time, however we have a responsibility to the professional footballers we represent to chart the way forward for them and their industry.
“We are committed to working with all stakeholders in a united and holistic way to relaunch the industry after the coronavirus pandemic. The professional players we represent and who devote so much time and energy to the women’s game, often with little reward or compensation, must be at the heart of this rebuilding process.”
The report outlines following primary objectives
– Global minimum employment standards, which guarantee that professional players have appropriate contracts, compensation, workload, training and match environments, health and safety measures, freedom of association and access to remedy.
– Global minimum standards at international tournaments to ensure that players participating in elite global competitions—both club and national team—are protected and can perform at their peak, on an equal footing on the world stage.
– Collective bargaining as a universal industry standard so that professional players around the world have a fair say in the development of their sport.
– New global club and national-team competition formats and scheduling that permits professional players to enjoy a long and sustainable career.
The research in Raising Our Game shows that there is a growing commercial interest in women’s football. However, the women’s game has been severely affected by the on-going crisis caused by coronavirus which has seen sport and football postponed and leagues cancelled around the world.
In England, AFC Fylde announced it was to disband its women’s team ‘due to the current and ongoing fluid situation regarding the COVID-19 virus’.
Women’s leagues and clubs worldwide have varying degrees of professionalism and, all too often, short seasons and financial shortcomings are a burden for players. Those surveyed highlighted a lack of resources and 78 percent were unaware of their club having a clear strategy for growth. At best, that means that there is a lack of transparency and player engagement and, at worst, that clubs do not have a strategy.
A reoccurring message from players is that the motivation and passion fuelling the women’s game needs proper structural and sustainable resources underpinning it to ensure long-term success.
Amanda Vandervort, FIFPro Chief Women’s Football Officer, said: “We are adamant that the priority of everyone in society, including the football community, is the health and safety of their loved ones at this moment, but we also have a duty to players and to plan for the restart of football.
“Women’s football has demonstrated its tremendous economic potential, and shown that it is an asset of great value to sport and society. Let’s focus our energies on both rebuilding the game and reimagining what women’s football can become. We want Raising Our Game to serve as a guiding light to help turn recent momentum into transformative change.”
Download the report here (English, French and Spanish): https://mms.fifpro.org:5001/sharing/bv2X6rTkY
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