Scottish FA 'committed to women's football' as dispute continues

The governing body insists the national team's are treated equally after claims about pay and conditions.

Scottish FA affirms commitment to equality as dispute with women’s national team continues SNS Group

The Scottish FA has responded to claims made by the women’s national team by insisting there is equality in how they treat their representative teams.

The Scotland women’s team announced on Friday that they were pursuing a legal challenge to the SFA in a fight to gain equal pay and conditions to their male counterparts.

Scotland captain Rachel Corsie said that the players “have a historic opportunity to advance equal pay and to promote equality” and were looking for support to deliver “long overdue change”.

Real Madrid and Scotland star Caroline Weir said that sponsorship deals delivered more money for male players, one example of “the outdated prejudice towards one group of players”, while Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert said that the campaign was “about advancing and achieving equality in Scottish football”.

The players’ legal move, which will be dealt with at an employment tribunal, is being backed by football trade union PFA Scotland. The organisation’s chief executive told STV that the team had asked for parity with the men’s national team but had been frustrated by the Scottish FA’s unwillingness to disclose details of their deal with the men, or to match it.

In response, the bosses at Hampden issued a statement that affirmed their commitment to equality but sought to “clarify some facts”, claiming that there was no fundamental difference between how men and women are treated when representing their country. The Scottish FA also said that it had confirmed in writing that all financial arrangements would be the same for men or women – but had received no response from the women’s team.

The statement read: “The Scottish FA shares the fundamental view of our women’s national team that equality should be at the heart of the development of the game at all levels.

“It is why we have been in ongoing dialogue with the women’s national team, their lawyers, advisors, and union representatives to continue to support the exponential growth of the women’s game and inspire future generations.

“In the interests of accuracy, it is important to clarify some facts arising from the latest statement issued by the SWNT.

“First, no national team player, whether men’s or women’s, is paid to play for their country or receive “appearance fees”. International representation is and should always be regarded as a privilege and not a job, a view that we believed to be shared by all. We do not consider such fees to be in the spirit of playing for your country. Our Men’s and Women’s squads receive a per diem rate for their time with the national team, which has been exactly the same since 2017.

“While other associations such as those named in the SWNT statement may choose to pay appearance fees, our men’s and women’s national team players are incentivised to qualify for major tournaments, from which the teams are paid the same percentage of prize money from the tournament organiser.

“The squads are further remunerated in lieu of contractual media and/or promotional appearances for our national teams’ sponsors. Again, the Scottish FA has ensured that men’s and women’s players are paid the same amount for appearances involving designated official national teams’ sponsors.

“As a result of ongoing dialogue, in September the Scottish FA sent a draft agreement to the SWNT’s advisers, which confirmed that all financial arrangements for the SWNT and SMNT would be the same – in addition to the existing equal payments for promotional appearances – but have to date received no substantive response.”

The dispute is not the first between the governing body and the women’s team. In April, members of the squad tweeted near-identical comments, asking why only limited ticketing was available for their international match at Hampden against Spain.

The Scottish FA said that the process had been misunderstood, with more seats being made available if necessary.

The organisation also defended its record promoting women’s football, saying more money would be spent to attract fans to the Spain match than on any Scotland Women’s game so far. And Hampden bosses went further, saying that staff working on the game had been hurt by the accusations they were not doing their best, and suggesting that the players did not have to make their grievance public.

Friday’s statement referred to that incident and said that dialogue had continued since then and “no issues have been raised that have not been dealt with” in regard to conditions and provisions when the teams meet for international camps.

The current dispute and legal move comes after the USA women’s team won a legal battle to secure equal pay with their male counterparts. The US Soccer Federation was ordered to pay out £17m after the judgement went against them.

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