Lionesses could take ‘industrial action’ and stop doing promotional work over the FA’s refusal to pay £100,000 win bonuses if they lift the World Cup
- Members of the Sarina Wiegman’s squad may cut back on commercial work
England’s Lionesses are considering ‘industrial action’ over the Football Association’s refusal to pay bonuses for their achievements at the World Cup.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that some members of Sarina Wiegman’s squad may scale back on the commercial work that they currently carry out on behalf of the FA for free – unless a row over bonus payments is resolved.
FA bosses this weekend face intense pressure to settle a dispute that rocked the England women’s World Cup preparations.
This newspaper understands that talks stalled after the team requested £100,000 per player if they won the tournament.
In stark contrast, the England men would have each collected £500,000 from the FA if they had won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Lionesses received a bonus of £55,000 each from the FA for winning last summer’s Euros and felt an upgrade would be appropriate if they lifted the biggest title in world football.
England’s Lionesses (pictured) are considering ‘industrial action’ over the Football Association’s refusal to pay bonuses for their achievements at the World Cup
The revelations come as Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer told the MoS that the women’s team and their male counterparts should be ‘paid equally’.
Asked whether the FA should make bonus money more equal, Ms Frazer, who will be cheering the team on at today’s final in Australia, replied: ‘Of course I think that when women are doing the same job as men, they should be paid equally, in broad terms.’
Meanwhile, Phil Neville, former England women’s team manager, has called on the FA to recognise the extraordinary achievements of his successor Wiegman by increasing her pay.
Wiegman is believed to be paid a salary of £400,000, compared with the £5 million a year reportedly paid to England men’s manager Gareth Southgate.
Neville, who guided England to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, said: ‘She should be paid a seven-figure salary not simply because the FA should make a genuine commitment to equality but because Sarina deserves to be rewarded for her ability.’
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that some members of Sarina Wiegman’s squad may scale back on the commercial work that they currently carry out on behalf of the FA for free – unless a row over bonus payments is resolved
The FA scrapped bonuses for their women because the football world governing body Fifa increased prize money at the current World Cup and, for the first time, announced that it would make payments directly to players.
But it has failed to agree a replacement scheme to recognise the team’s achievements – despite being on course to receive more money than ever at a women’s World Cup.
READ MORE: Nike are set to pay the FA a £1m bonus if England win the World Cup – heaping pressure on football’s governing body to reward Lionesses in wake of pre-tournament row
If England win today, the FA will pocket £3.4 million from Fifa, and each of the players £212,000. If England finish second, the FA will get £2.4 million and the players £153,000 each. The FA will also scoop a £1 million bonus from kit supplier Nike if England triumph.
Other leading national associations, including those of the US and Australia, are paying bonuses on top of Fifa payments. The Spanish FA agreed a five-year deal last year to pay the women the same as the men at international level.
In a statement last month, England captain Millie Bright and her team-mates said: ‘We are disappointed that a resolution has still not been achieved.’ Last week, the FA’s CEO Mark Bullingham said the row would be sorted out ‘after the tournament’.
The England women’s team make promotional appearances as part of lucrative commercial deals between the FA and its sponsors, for which the players are not paid.
Sources claim one option being considered by the Lionesses – if talks with the FA continue to stall – is that some of the squad would not fully cooperate with this work.
On Friday, Fifa president Gianni Infantino provoked a backlash after telling women players to ‘pick the right battles’ and that they had ‘the power to convince us men what we have to do’.
Football commentator Jacqui Oatley wrote on social media: ‘So, so poor from Infantino.’
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