USWNT and US Soccer Federation to federal mediation for pay imbalance

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Sports' started by LadyStanley, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley Registered User

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    What an agreement to pursue mediation in equal pay case...
    The Athletic. Paywall

    US women's soccer team and Soccer Federation agree to enter mediation in pay gap suit

    From CNBC article
    USWNT players, even though having better on field performance and increasing TV ratings, received 1/3rd the amount of $$ that the USMNT did. (Friday's USWNT tournament game in France could be highest price resale ticket ever 234 Euro ticket reselling for over 12,000 Euro!) Title VIII suit.

    The sides are now heading to federal mediation to try and resolve.


    This could be an interesting case study if the NHL ever adds a WNHL league under its umbrella.
     
  2. gstommylee

    gstommylee Registered User

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    There's one problem though with the idea of if NHL adds a WNHL under its umbrella, there wouldn't be enough revenue to even support having same pay. League would collapse.

    The issue with the USWNT is they are basing equal pay based on revenue yes WNT are current having higher revenue but that high revenue won't stay high forever. IF WNT hits a streak of 5 years straight of lower revenue but USMNT remains high, it wouldn't make sense that WNT gets the same pay as the mens. I think there need to be a pay system in place that adjusts how much the players get paid based on revenue. If WMT revenue is high or higher than the mens then the womens get paid more.

    Sports isn't your typical business. Its all about how much revenue it brings in.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  3. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley Registered User

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    Note that WSJ showed that USWNT brought in about $1m more than USMNT over three year period, but were receiving 1/3rd the $$ in "pay" than the men.

    Any women's hockey league under a NHL umbrella might be limited to 50% of revenues in player pay; but a smaller pie than NHL.
     
  4. gstommylee

    gstommylee Registered User

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    Right. I am not saying they don't have an argument but that i don't see that higher revenue than the mens lasting. At some point it'll drop as current players retire and new players come that may not be as good as the previous players and competition gets better to where WNT isn't dominating anymore. I think a good pay system needs to be put in place that rewards WNT players if they bringing in a lot more revenue.
     
  5. tsanuri

    tsanuri Moderator

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  6. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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    I don't have access to paywalled WSJ analysis but looking at audited financial statements (Financial Information) only combined revenues for all national games are reported. No break down by WNT/MNT for revenues only expenses have that breakdown. What am I missing? Analysis over a larger sample (more years) would definitely sound less biased given that more statements are available. Almost seems like they cherry picked years where MNT under performed.

    Game revenues are only one source of income. Sponsorship , TV, licensing represent a larger source of revenues but is not included (also no break down by national team) in the analysis.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  7. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    I don't think it's that open and shut. One of the things that the United States does much better than almost any other country is fund women's teams sports and develop talent. United States women teams are #1 in hockey, basketball, and soccer currently (and have been for a long time or near #1), and they don't seem poised to be knocked much further down than 2 or 3 in any of them for the foreseeable future. The current generation of exceptional women's soccer players will be replaced by the next generation of exceptional women's soccer players.

    And for pretty much the first time ever (that I'm aware of), there's documented evidence that a women's variant of a sport has brought in more revenue than the same men's sport. I know that coincides with a time when the men's team missed the World Cup, but that further behooves the point. It's still a battle for the USA men's team to get into the only tournament that a big chunk of the American fanbase cares about, compared to the women where coming in third would be viewed as almost an equivalent letdown.

    So, deeper runs are practically a given, and actual runs are guaranteed internationally, and this is really the only main avenue of major revenue for women's players compared to men still having the MLS and actually meaningful European soccer leagues. In other words, just about everything points to the notion that women soccer players should get paid as much, if not more, than their male counterparts when representing the United States internationally.
     
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  8. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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    Seems like WNT is thriving for sure but be careful with "revenues" because what is reported seems to include only games revenues and not other sources which represent larger share of total revenues.

    Also interesting how OP's CNBC article reports pool of money for Women vs Men World Cup's and complains how Women only got 7.5% of Men but does not report revenues by each. Men tournament generated 6 billions and shared 400m while Women generated 131m and shared 30m. In other words Men took less than 6.7% of their generated revenues while Women took 29.9% of theirs.

    Revenue Disparity Explains Pay Disparity Between Soccer World Cup's Men And Women
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  9. Hoek

    Hoek ❤ KyoAni

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    The women make more revenue at the gate because they play more games. The men bring in more revenue if you count all the other sources.

    Also making it difficult to sort out is the women make a salary on the national team (and even their club salary is subsidized by the USSF), while the men only get paid per game they've been called up to. So while overall the women may be getting paid less, if you compare player to player several women may be getting paid more than individual men. I know for instance the backup keeper for the women gets a $350k salary which is definitely more than whatever random goalie for the men gets called up from time to time.

    If they can find some clearer way to tie pay to revenue I'm all for it. If the women win the cup and make a lot of money on a victory tour they deserve to reap the rewards. The equal pay thing just muddles things since the pay structure between the two is so different. If the women want to be paid more just argue that you should be paid more. Don't compare to the men. Point to your successes and the growth in revenue to justify a raise. If it happens to bring you up to the men and even surpass them, all the better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  10. DoyleG

    DoyleG Mr. Reality

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    In 2018, the USWNT played 20 total games.

    5 were the CONCACAF qualifiers, which have generally been held in the United States. All the revenue from that.

    15 were friendlies, of which only 2 were played outside of the US (Portugal and Scotland in November).

    of the 13 friendlies, 6 were related to the tournaments created specifically for the USWNT (SheBeleives Cup and the Tournament of Nations). The invited teams just added to the revenue stream that the women could claim for themselves.

    They can claim "increased revenue", but they would also have serious expenditures to cover. That is before the salaries that Hoek mentioned, as the national team is run more like a professional club.

    As for the use of ticket resale as evidence, the sellers knew that this type of match was going to happen months in advance. Its much easier to plan for such a possibility to occur.
     
  11. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Yes, but the two major parts of the revenue disparity is due to the gross negligence of FIFA marketing and promoting the women, and the lack of itemization in accounting.

    The "Revenues" for the Men's World Cup includes $3 billion in TV rights. Those TV rights include the rights to the WOMEN'S World Cup as well, yet dollar amount is given and indexed as (EDIT) MEN'S revenue.

    It's pretty easy to say the women's world cup brings in far less than the men when you're counting the bundled TV rights (which make up over HALF the revenue) as only men's revenue when it isn't only men's.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  12. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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    Good catch, I see for 2019 total broadcasting rights are expected to be 329m. Women WC I assume would represent a good chunk, only other significant tourney is U20? Without proper breakdown it is hard to have accurate numbers and people will spin them to fit whatever agenda.
     
  13. gstommylee

    gstommylee Registered User

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    Yea thats a problem we don't know exactly how much USWNT is making vs USMNT. Is USWNT really making more revenue than the USMNT? They claim they do but reality we don't know due to the TV rights being group together as a single sum. They really need to break that down.
     
  14. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    And it's true all across the board: World Cup, Confederation, US Soccer. There's "TV rights for USMNT/USWNT" bundles in everything.

    And to be clear, that's the SMART THING to do (which I advocated for if the NHL ever launches the WNHL. Include the women and jack up the price).

    It's not an apples to apples comparison being made - not that I'm saying the disparity in compensation is justified, it quite simply is not. But the inability to provide separate accounting for itemized revenue is all the more reason the compensation should be made equitable. The fact that "We can't really assess how much of the TV money is "Men's" vs "Women's" is the excuse you can use to do the right thing.
     
  15. hangman005

    hangman005 I survived the great HF crash of 2019

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    I think one I could point out would be Netball, and most people would be like "what the hell is Netball" which is fair enough. But here Womans Netball outstrips Mens Netball quite considerably both in terms of revenue and I would guess to development dollars. Heck I didn't even now we had a mens team until they beat the womans team in a lead up to the world cup.

    It's a tough subject to talk about as it skates the line with larger societal and political issues, but I think just a flat equality would be a bad idea. and I think tying it to revenue and results should be the direction they head in, if they are generating more revenue and outperforming the men, they should get paid more, and vice versa. To me that's more in lines of equality. Equity on the otherhand, (equality of outcome) i don't think is desirable, it sounds good and clean and easy but it'll create more problems than it'll solve.
     
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  16. tony d

    tony d HFBoards Sponsor Sponsor

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    It's certainly an interesting debate. I do enjoy women's sports. Been watching a lot of the women's world cup the past few weeks. I think they deserve a better wage but also at the same time realize that the women's game isn't as popular as the men's game. That goes a fair bit towards why there's pay imbalance.
     
  17. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    The "brings in more revenue" piece is also slightly misleading.

    When you play in an event, the revenue goes to the event: World Cup to FIFA; WCQ and Gold Cup to CONCACAF. US Soccer revenue from the teams in terms of ticket sales is from home friendlies.

    If each team is playing 80 matches per cycle… Because the men have 16 WCQ and 6 Gold Cup matches, while the women have 5 WCQ/Gold Cup matches (it’s one tournament, not two)…

    The men could play a max of 37 revenue games (home friendlies). The women could play 54.

    If the men want to play someone good in a friendly, they have to travel and abide by the terms of the team they want to play. Because the women are No. 1 in the World, they can say “if you want to play us, you come here.”

    In the last cycle:
    The men played 21 home friendlies and 12 road friendlies.
    The women played 33 home friendlies and 7 road friendlies.

    The women generated more revenue because they sold 670,988 home friendly tickets to the men’s 478,376 home tickets.

    The average was 22,780 men to 20,333 women.

    If all revenue factors were equal, the women would bring in $0.90 for every dollar the men bring in based on the popularity of the Men vs Women.
    (Oh, this doesn't include the women's post-World Cup victory tour this fall. So it's probably going to be even higher than that).


    Now all that sounds like I’m “debunking the myth” that the women deserve equal pay. That’s ridiculous.

    1. The US women are earning ONLY 38 cents on the dollar when they are generating 90 cents on the dollar (probably more).

    2. All revenue factors AREN’T equal. The revenue factors that enable the US women to make more money BY playing more home games is something they have earned because they’ve been ridiculously successful.

    The popularity of women’s soccer in the US is BECAUSE of these women, they should be compensated for it.

    The England women’s national team has averaged 9,000 fans for their women’s team home friendlies; France is at 9,800 with the World Cup scheduled for their home nation.

    Our women can sell more tickets (and charge more for them) than any other women’s program in the world because of the success and popularity that they literally built on their own.


    There’s four arguments to make regarding equal pay:

    1. The women CAN generate more revenue than the men and should be paid equally because of it. This is 100% accurate and their pay should go from 38% of the men to 100% of the men.

    2. The women aren’t as popular and women generate less revenue all things being equal; which would mean the women should go from 38% to 90%. This is mostly true, but all things aren't equal, and that inequality actually favors paying the women more.

    3. As a world leader in equality and freedom, the women should be paid the same as the men because it’s the right thing to do. 38% to 100%

    4. If we don’t pay our women equally and other countries who want to be leaders in equality and freedom DO, our place atop the world standings is at risk. 38% to 100%


    There is zero argument to be made that the women do not deserve a raise. There’s only a question of if you’re going to increase it up to 90% or more of the men based on the data of what they bring in; or the full 100%.
     
  18. GQS

    GQS Registered User

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    You can promote women's soccer or any women's sport all you want, but the support is always going to be relatively low unless women come out and support female athletes in large numbers rather than waiting for men to support them. The only exceptions to that so far is women's tennis and golf and that's about it, which is why they get paid more than every other female athlete usually by a large margin.

    I'm wondering if the TV rights for the women's world cup were negotiated seperately from the men's world cup, could they get even a half decent deal at all on their own? Like would major companies really want to shell out major money for TV rights for the women's world cup believing they could make money off of it?

    I think women deserve a raise, but I think its stupid if they believe they should be earning anywhere near what men earn when they're still bringing in a fraction of what male athletes are bringing in in most cases. Look at this world cup and how empty the stadiums were for the majority of games and then tell me how can women say they're generating anywhere near as much revenue as the men's world cup does? Look at any women's regular soccer game and see how few people turn out for those games and tell me why women deserve anywhere near the pay that men get?
     
  19. PurpleMouse

    PurpleMouse Registered User

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    The question I have reading this is what are the ticket prices? Using that argument it should go by revenue, and not just tickets sold. I have zero idea what friendlies cost for either the men or women.
     
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  20. Nino33

    Nino33 Registered User

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    From February of this year, seems men's tickets are typically higher priced Community Corner: Where should U.S. Soccer set ticket prices?




    Quarterfinal tickets to watch the women in the World Cup just finished were apparently 17-65 dollars USA vs. France Ticket Prices: How Much to Go to World Cup Quarters? | Heavy.com
    Quarterfinal tickets to watch the men in 2018 were apparently 60-365 dollars 2018 F| Statista

    Tickets went for 26-84 dollars for the 2019 World Cup Final USA vs. Netherlands Ticket Prices: How Much to Attend World Cup Final? | Heavy.com
    For the 2018 World Cup tickets for the Final were 110-1100 dollars 2018 F| Statista
     
  21. Hammettf2b

    Hammettf2b Wings

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    No it wont, because a womens hockey league will never reach ratings of the womens world cup.
     
  22. Hammettf2b

    Hammettf2b Wings

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  23. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley Registered User

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    For USWNT to stay atop women's soccer, here's what must happen

    Pundit suggests more $$ needed for US Women's Soccer league for uswnt to remain competitive. (All USNWT play in league)

    Real Madrid buying women's team and investing 2m Euros (~$2.3m US).

    Pro league has team cap (below minimum salary of single NHL player) ~$425k, players salaries from $16-42k (lower end "pro" in name only).


    Quite a difference
    Wonder how things will work out
     
  24. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    So much data is unknown or not itemized in any way shape or form. Doing my best to show what we can with data we have.

    The big disconnect is that everyone knows there’s way more demand overall for men’s sports vs women’s sports, so the value of a men’s team is absolutely 7, 8, 12, 20 times that of “any women’s team,” so why would USWNT be any different?

    People have cared about the men’s teams, and they’ve been BUSINESS, for over 100 years. Women’s sports didn’t really exist until the 1990s outside of college, and are in the infancy of business efforts only just now in a dozen countries.

    But for the US, when FIFA started women’s play in 1991, no one really cared about MEN’S Soccer EITHER!

    The men made the 1990 World Cup for the first time in 40 years; The women made the 1991 World Cup, the first ever one; There was also no pro league yet in the US.
    And no one really noticed soccer in the US until we hosted the 1994 Men’s World Cup.

    And that’s why the USWNT is different. Soccer fans around the world were introduced to their women’s teams decades after the men.
    SOCCER ITSELF was introduced to the American public with men’s and women’s teams together.
     
  25. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Things that are true in almost every aspect of women’s sports, do not specifically apply to the USWNT.

    Nike has not been able to keep the USWNT jerseys in stock in men’s or women’s cuts all year. The Men’s cut Four-Star USWNT jersey at US Soccer.com is only still available in extra small and youth. “The USA Women's home jersey is now the No. 1 soccer jersey, men's or women's, ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” CEO Mark Parker announced on the company’s earning call Thursday (July 4).

    Everywhere else in the world got introduced to their women’s team after they loved the men’s team, so the fans didn’t need the women. Americans were introduced to soccer with both teams competing and the women being better (And no domestic league in the early 90s). The Men’s World Cup ends, the rest of the world went back to focusing on club soccer. The 1994 World Cup ended, there was no club, just the 1995 Women’s World Cup. The men went 0-3 in 1998, Women win in 1999. Men DNQ in 2018, Women win in 2019. The difference in popularity is smaller in the US than anywhere else that has been following soccer for a century.

    On a global scale, of course not. FIFA would take a big hit doing it that way. (The non-senior team events that are also included wouldn’t sell well, either). But the USWNT equal pay argument is not about the global scale. It’s USMNT vs USWNT. Period.

    If the World Cup rights were broken down by TEAM and Gender (aka, only USA matches) would the women’s rights be a more valuable asset to US Television?

    In the last 8 years…
    4 games, 8 million households each vs 13 games, 7 million households each. Which would you pick?

    Again, global view. It’s not about MOST CASES. The only case is USWNT vs USMNT. How many World Cup tickets are sold in France has no bearing on the value of USWNT.

    When the US Men hosted, US games sold out every stadium (including a 90,000 seat Rose Bowl) and the tourney set the record for average attendance that no one else has broken since.

    In 1999, the women did exactly the same thing.
     
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