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. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Every believes that:
    Men’s sports make more money than women’s sports. It’s not unfair if men’s total compensation is higher because of that.

    If for US Soccer:
    MEN: $200 million revenue, $80 million compensation (40%)
    WOMEN: $20 million revenue, $8 million compensation (40%)

    $80 vs $8 is fair because everyone gets 40%. Paying the women’s team $80 million isn’t equity, it’s a handout.

    But if a women’s team COULD/DID generate $200 million in revenue, fair pay is giving them their $80 million.
    Giving them less than the same percentage as the men is not equitable, and discrimination based on gender.

    That’s the USWNT lawsuit.
     
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  2. GQS

    GQS Registered User

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    Of course their merchandise is going to sell really well when they're doing good. I'm sure men's soccer team merchandise would also be selling really well if they were doing good too. Right now the women's team is at its peak of popularity vs the relatively low point of the US men's team. Why not compare the peak popularity of men's team vs the peak popularity of women's team?

    I mean we talk about how much interest the women's team is receiving yet if you look around the US and all the bars and restaurants, how many of them were packed for the entire US women's team run this world cup? Probably hardly any. I'm sure for the men's team if they got as far as the women's team did, many places would be doing at least decent business for their games. The point as even at its highest peak, women's soccer is still very much far behind men's soccer and its taking the relative poor performace of the men's team for the women to even surpass them a little bit.


    That's fine. If we're saying that women should receive the same percentage as men do in payouts then that makes sense, but if women ARE NOT generating the same amount of revenue as men do and yet they're still asking for more then that's wrong.

    Also lets not forget that the women's team is facing much easier opposition which allows them to dominate the way they do and have as much success as they're having now vs the men's team that has to go up against much, MUCH tougher teams in the world which makes it much harder for them to succeed as much as the women are. Right now women's soccer is like women's hockey but somewhat better when it comes to parity while men's soccer has plenty of good/great teams that you have to beat to win a championship.

    So the hill that the US men's team has to climb to gain success is much, MUCH steeper and harder than the women's team has to face. Too bad that isn't taken into account with this equal pay argument.
     
  3. Swarez

    Swarez Registered User

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    So should it be based on merit? Or should it be based on need? You said both.

    The US team failed to make the world cup, so for that performance they should be rewarded with more money than the woman who won the world cup?

    And about ratings? In the US the woman's world cup final was watched more than the mens world cup final. Americans like to watch Americans win. Woman are doing that. Men, in soccer not so much.

    Women’s World Cup Final Drew Higher U.S. Ratings Than Men’s Final

    Women's World Cup final ratings surpass last year's men's final
     
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  4. xtra

    xtra Registered User

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    I think the USA women’s team should be careful because an possible outcome
    Of this would be for FIFA to sell the rights and sponsorships separately, and there is a chance that overall revenues go down for the women world wide (aka- barhain isn’t going to pay much for the women’s World Cup while they do for the men’s if at all. And so forth for all countries)

    Now if the discussion is about the revenue generated by USA soccer selling rights and such only (not including FIFA globally) then its a much more interesting case. But even then there would be a breakdown that id like to see.
     
  5. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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    If Females are getting the short end of the stick, I say start your own associations and negotiate your own deals. Control your own destiny.
     
  6. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    That’s the entire point though: The women’s average popularity is so high because they peak so often and the men don’t. So we’re going to pay the back-to-back champion women a lower percentage of revenues… BECAUSE THE MEN SUCK? That makes no sense.

    It’s not unfair to compare popularity even when the men are at their lowest point, because the women’s success is why their popularity is close.

    No one disputes there’s a “Gender Curve” of popularity. The argument is that “When you apply the Gender Curve, the women STILL STACK UP because of performance.


    TV ratings wise in the US, a Men’s Group game draws what the women’s quarters/semis draw (6 pts), the men’s Round of 16 draw 8 or 9 TV points and the women’s final draws 10+. That’s the Gender Curve.


    But the Women have made the final five times, and never missed the Quarters.
    The Men have made the Round of 16 four times, and missed the group stage in 2018.

    Top 5 highest rated World Cup games for US teams since 2006:
    Men: 6.3 (Group), 7.4 (Group), 8.5 (R16), 9.1 (Group), 9.8 (R16),
    Women: 7.0 (Semi), 7.5 (Final), 10.0 (Final), 11.4 (Final), 15.2 (Final)

    (oh, there’s no data for the women for anything before the 2011 final. No clue what the 2011 semi ratings were).


    That’s their lawsuit. The CBA isn’t as simple as “everyone gets 40%.” It’s bonus clauses for different things, salaries for different events, etc.

    The really giant red flag is the the payment for games based on what event they are.


    Both teams get paid for 20 friendlies at a constant rate, but the men get a bonus for wins/draws (and higher bonuses against Mexico).
    The women get no bonuses.

    Both teams get paid a higher rate for CONCACAF Event Games (World Cup Qualifying or Gold Cup).
    - Men’s schedule has 22
    - Women’s schedule has 5.

    To make up the difference, the women play more friendlies than the men.

    But after the 20th friendly, the pay rate for the women gets CUT to about half what the first 20 were.

    So the men have 16 games making a higher-than friendly rate, and the women have about 16 games making a lower than friendly rate.
     
  7. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    There's so much confusion about what this is about. The USWNT equal pay lawsuit is about the US Soccer federation paying the US Men and the US Women different rates, and not based on what revenue is created, but solely because the women are women and the men are men.


    The TV rights revenue is only brought up because the number one response to the USWNT lawsuit is "The men make more revenue, here's the table of revenue as proof" and that table is misleading because the TV rights are bundled. People talk about how much the Men's World Cup makes by including ALL the TV revenue, when the TV revenue includes other properties being sold (women, and non-senior team events are also included: Club, Youth teams, every total FIFA competition).

    The TV rights being bundled is fine, it's good. FIFA setting the prize money (which comes from the TV contracts) for World Cups based on their perceived value of each part of the bundle... that's generally speaking "fine" as well -- it's not fine to have that split trending toward more inequality and making the gap bigger. The prizes at the "less profitable" or "less popular" FIFA events SHOULD be inflated over "real worth" because that's how you promote growth.


    No one is suggesting that all levels - FIFA globally; continental confederations like CONCACAF, UEFA, etc; US Soccer domestically -- the men's and women's TV contracts are split and sold separately instead of bundled.
     
  8. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    The U.S. hosted again in 2003. Lowest avg attendance of the last 6 world cups, 2nd lowest attendance for the world cup final (out of 8)
     
  9. NCRanger

    NCRanger Bettman's Enemy

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    To be fair, the US hosting in 2003 was an emergency. The tournament was held in late September/early October, and the large stadiums were already being used for the NFL.

    It was also poorly promoted as it was played for the sake of being played, rather than promoted as large event.
     
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  10. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Fun fact, the first Women's World Cup wasn't the "World Cup." FIFA refused to brand it the same way as the World Cup because they didn't think anyone would care. It was called the "FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup." But China did an amazing job, and it was a successful tournament, so FIFA retroactively renamed it the first Women's World Cup.

    3.5 years from announcement to tournament is the norm. China had that for 2003, and had scheduled the tourney for the fall, not summer (as they did in 1991). Then the SARS outbreak hit that spring and sporting events were being canceled left and right. The IIFH canceled their women's tourney, among others. This was right when the WWC draw was to be held.

    The World Heath Organization advised they move it. So it was moved to the USA just 128 days before kickoff.

    Virtually all the football stadiums (College and Pro) were mostly off the table. They got Philly and New England, but had to use MLS stadiums. Instead of working "smallest venues for group, biggest venues for the knockout" they actually had to work backward, because they could play midweek in the two NFL stadiums, but had to hold the semis in Portland (23,000 stadium).
     
  11. frivolousz21

    frivolousz21 2019 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS ST LOUIS BLUES

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    An US men's world cup final game would generate 40 million + viewers.

    Maybe much more.
     
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  12. KirkW

    KirkW Registered User

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    But that's such a ridiculous hypothetical, that it's barely worth mentioning.
     
  13. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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  14. DoyleG

    DoyleG Mr. Reality

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  15. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    That's a really good link.

    One thing that strikes me is that the World Cup payment structure, which I felt was horribly lopsided: the WaPo makes it sound like all of that money COMES FROM FIFA, and they're simply passing it along, whereas the Exhibits of the Women's lawsuit implies that is US Soccer compensation and FIFA money is on top of that.

    The reason I assumed it was by US Soccer is that quite simply, the player pool money growing by points earned in group play doesn't quite make any sense.
    For example, NCAA Tournament team shares: 1 unit for making the field (68 total), 1 unit for advancing each game up until the Final Four (63 total). There's a winner and a loser, and therefore 131 units to award every tournament.

    In soccer group play, there most certainly are not the same number of points to award every tournament. There are 12 to 18 points per group (96 to 144). Although, it is FIFA, so they basically could divide the available revenue for that part of the player pool by 144 and sit in their suites high-fiving every time there is a group draw because they just kept $275,000 from the player pool).
     
  16. GQS

    GQS Registered User

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    The US women's team's popularity is so high because its currently successful and is winning. That doesn't mean their popularity will last long term otherwise it would translate into higher attendance for the women's soccer league in the US which hasn't ever happened has it?

    Also why aren't we mentioning that the women's team is playing against many weaker teams and hence its much easier for them to dominate and do well much like Canada and the US are doing in women's hockey? The men's soccer team has to face far more tougher teams and it isn't a surprise that their success is much less. But I guess this detail doesn't matter when women argue how successful there are. :rolleyes:

    So what this says is that the men's soccer team even making it to the round of 16 draws almost as well as the women making it to the finals. Seems pretty clear that if the men could go even further that their viewership would be far higher than for the women's games.

    Also this doesn't even count the financial impact that the men's world cup has on bars/restaurants etc. vs the women's world cup. In Toronto everytime the men's world cup comes around its like a daily party around the city depending on which country is playing. With the women's world cup it was barely a blip the entire tournament here and bars and restaurants made nothing off that event. That shows you how much difference and how much people care about one world cup vs the other.

    So while paying women's soccer players more might be justified, to say they should be paid the same as men seems unfair when men's soccer generates so much more interest and money than women's soccer ever will.
     
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  17. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    This year’s World Cup Final TV ratings were only 2/3 of what their rating was for the 1999 Final (due to time zones). They’ve been winning for 30 years and have been popular for 20 years. That is also the entire duration of FIFA women’s soccer, and the era of US Soccer being relevant to Americans and rising in popularity the entire time.

    Plenty of people have mentioned it. But it’s very stupid to hold the US women’s paychecks responsible for not developing women’s soccer in the rest of the world. Their job description is to play soccer and win. They do that.

    Yes, that’s exactly what I said, thank you for “interpreting” it. Now repeat THE CONCLUSION:

    That is the Gender Curve that exists in reality for men’s vs women’s popularity. And the women BEAT the curve by making the Finals in 5 of 8 World Cups (and 5 of 6 Olympics, which are full National Team events). It doesn’t matter that the men COULD be more popular if they won. The men have made the quarterfinals only ONCE… since 1930.

    The men have higher total revenue potential, and higher PER MATCH actual revenue. But the women have DONE THE WORK to make up the difference.

    And even if they hadn’t, no one is saying “Men get X dollars, women should get X dollars, too.” It’s “Men and Women should earn the same percentage of revenues” so their earning potential is based on the actual value of their work (popularity and results)”

    And by that metric, the women’s same percentage would be more dollars than the men, because the women are trouncing the men in each team’s last World Cup cycle.

    It’s very stupid to hold the US women’s paychecks responsible for that, as well.

    But ACTUALLY, a huge part of the lawsuit is that the USWNT team has financial data to show that US Soccer is not spending as much money on marketing and promotion as they do for the men. The USWNT claims this suppresses their revenue which US Soccer can use to justify paying them less.

    Which is A) not good for US Soccer’s defense, and B) a stupid business practice since they could be making a lot more revenue from women’s soccer than they actually do.

    Again, it’s not about the total dollars, it’s about the percentage of revenues.
     
  18. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Oh, by the way... the smoking gun in the lawsuit is Olympic compensation.

    The women's Olympic events are "Full national team" but the men's competition is U-23 with 3 veteran exceptions. Because USMNT players CAN play in the Olympics, that compensation must be addressed. The men and women get equal rates for the Olympics... because legally they have to.

    So the women can point to that item in the two CBAs and say "why doesn't this apply across the board to every competition? The only difference in pay should be the money FIFA gives out because US Soccer can't control their discrimination"
     
  19. GQS

    GQS Registered User

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    Women's soccer is only popular for the world cup and nothing else. I seriously doubt all the fans and viewers they had watching them during the WC will translate to increasing their viewership in the US women's soccer league.

    Sure its not their fault that teams from other nations aren't as competitive, but at the same time it makes their wins much less significant when they're playing against lesser opposition. Its the same with women's hockey where its the US and Canada teams blowing out everyone else almost constantly. Having Canada and the US winning multiple olympic titles and other tournaments has much less meaning when they're the top two teams all the time.

    Again US women's team has been facing lesser opposition much of the time which makes their accomplishments much less meaningful the same way US and Canada women's hockey has been dominating against weak opposition and it makes their accomplishments less meaningful.

    Look at men's soccer in comparison and see how even the strongest nations have a very difficult time in making it to the finals with any consistency let alone winning the championship. That's how strong the competition is in men's soccer and why it means so much more when a men's team wins the WC and why the entire nation celebrates their victories compared to a women's win.

    Again the US men's team is up against much, MUCH tougher competition than the US women's team so to say the women's team is doing much better has less meaning until other women's teams get better and give the US women's team more competition.

    You could spend a billion dollars on marketing women's soccer and it isn't going to make much of a difference in getting people to care about them and come out to support them by buying tickets and turning on the TV to watch them. Women's soccer will ALWAYS be a niche sport with minimal interest outside of women's world cup and nothing is going to change that the same way nothing the NBA does is going to change how unsuccessful the WNBA is.

    Pretty much the only way most women's sports will ever get bigger is if girls and women come out to support female athletes which apparently most don't care to do and then they have to try and beg men to support their sports. I mean women make up 50% or more of the population in most countries so its not like there isn't enough females around to support female athletes, just that most don't care about sports or if they do they cheer for men's teams. So you can't blame men for the failure and lack of interest in female sports when even their fellow females can't be bothered to support them.
     
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  20. Jon Bonham

    Jon Bonham Registered User

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    /thread.
     
  21. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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    Looking a bit at the history in 2016 women already filed a pay complaint yet went on to sign a new CBA in 2017. Why not go on strike and negotiate better conditions at the time?
     
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  22. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    A National soccer team (men or women) gets paid to train for, and hopefully win, the World Cup. That’s the goal. The entire 4-year cycle is specifically built just for that. aka, a women’s pro league or men’s pro league, or hockey or all the countries of the world besides USA, or various teams degrees of difficulty under which the two soccer teams operate… they simply do not have a thing to do with the legal action by USWNT.

    No, you missed the point of this one: The US Women are probably trouncing the US men in REVENUE if we include 2019. Per the lawsuit and USSF financial records, the women have earned roughly $1.7 million more in revenue than the men from 2016-2018.

    Well, 2019 is the men’s first year of a new cycle - the slowest of the four year cycle, AND the men just missed the WC. Their ratings and attendance are down 47%. While it’s a Women’s World Cup year (always the most popular year of the cycle for any national team), and Nike hasn’t been about to keep WNT gear in stock for US to sell.

    (And remember, this is about LOCAL revenues. WWC attendance vs Men’s WC attendance/revenue doesn’t mean a damned thing because that money goes to FIFA).


    The revenue data and USWNT attendance data makes that a gross exaggeration. You’re underestimating the difference between the USWNT and every other women’s sports team on the planet.

    Generally speaking, NO ONE CARES about the women’s version of sports compared to the men, because the men’s version has been around for 50 to 150 years, and women’s sports didn’t really become a thing until attempts in the mid/late 90s.

    Pro basketball started in 1946, the WNBA in 1996. The FIFA World Cup started in 1930. The Women’s World Cup in 1991. Pro men’s soccer in Europe for 200 years, and women’s pro soccer started like, a few years ago. Fans don’t NEED a women’s team because they’ve had a men’s team for decades already.


    But in the United States from 1951-1993, NO ONE CARED ABOUT MEN’S SOCCER, EITHER!

    The US Men didn’t make a World Cup from 1951 to 1990 (which coincides with the history of TV. Soccer just wasn’t on TV in the US and no one cared: Men’s 1990 WC TV viewers were just 369,000 per game). America’s first real introduction to soccer was hosting the 1994 World Cup (during the explosion of ESPN popularity).

    And when it ended, there was NO PRO LEAGUE. MLS didn’t start until 1996. And that’s when Americans discovered that the women’s team were defending World Cup Champions. The US Women’s Soccer team had a 1994 attendance of 5,150 before the men’s World Cup started. Not average, but total. Six matches, the last 500 fans. Their first game AFTER the men’s world cup ended: 5,731. Then 5,826. Then 6,511.


    In England, they watch their club team by 40 to 50 regular season games a year, and then 40 or so national team games over four years. And then the women get introduced. And it’s “That’s 240 matches for the men, who has time for the women?”

    In the US, fans were introduced to both men’s and women’s teams together, there was no club, so your choices were 40 mens, or 80 men’s and women’s. And maybe have VHS tapes mailed to you from Europe to watch pro soccer.
     
  23. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    You're agreeing with someone missing the point and is totally wrong on the issue of equal pay.

    It's not about equal DOLLARS. It's about equal percentage of revenues.

    You'd agree that if men bring in $200 million in revenue, get paid $80 million in compensation (40%) and the women bring in $50 million in revenue and get $20 million in compensation (40%), that is fair. Despite the dollar value being different, it IS EQUAL PAY because it's the same percentage and the women just bring in less revenue. Right? The women asking for $80 million like the men is a request for charitable handouts they don't deserve.


    Everything you just agreed with is nothing but REASONS for that revenue gap ($200 million vs $50 million in my made-up numbers).

    Now, the REALITY (aka, why you're all wrong on this) IS that in real life:
    A. The women are not getting anywhere near close to the same percentage of revenue the men get.
    B. From 2016 to 2018, the US Women actually brought in more revenue than the US men, about $51 to $50 million.

    So you're agreeing with "The women are asking for a charitable handout they don't deserve" as if the percentages are the same, when they're not; and the revenue is vastly different when it isn't.
     
  24. Jon Bonham

    Jon Bonham Registered User

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    I think you better check your facts before you go condescendingly argue with people on the topic at hand. How much revenue did the womens' team take in compared to the mens' team? Because it's certainly not what you just claimed. Are you using Distractify as your reference?

    The women ARE asking for charitable handouts. Doesn't matter how you look at it. Most of you are taking into account revenue from the games themselves and literally ignoring every other factor at hand. Even after this ridiculous fiasco, they've brought in a tiny fraction of THOSE revenues than that of the mens' world cup. All of this is moot anyway, as none of us can see the current CBA from either league. But we do know that one team is paid on salaray and one isn't. I'll let you think real hard about which one is which.

    Equal pay is a relevant conversation to have. But this one isn't. "Equal work" is accurate, in terms of the sport itself. That's where it ends.
     
  25. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    I was using court documents from the EEOC claim.

    US Soccer gets no revenue from the World Cup (other than the women’s players earning prize money). That’s FIFA’s money. US Soccer gets their revenue from:

    A. Bundled TV rights which are not itemized
    B. Ticket sales to USA home friendlies and the home tournaments they own.
    C. A percentage of revenue from hosted CONCACAF events, but no one really knows the percentages.
    D. Merchandise, which some is generic, some is USMNT branded or USWNT branded.

    Ooh, but it’s really more complicated than that. The women are “salaried” for the first 20 friendlies they play in of a four-year cycle. Of course they played 47 last cycle (they have two home tournaments not called friendlies, but are paid at the friendly rate) and get paid only a win bonus if they win friendlies 21-47. They draw in year four and they’re playing for free. Also, the "salary" is misleading because it's a four-year salary, not an annual salary. They're guaranteed money is lower than the poverty line.

    The women's income is dependent on winning the World Cup. A winless men's team would make more money than a women's team which gets upset in the WWC.
     

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