The AFL and AFL Players Association (AFLPA) have announced a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has been reached for 2022 NAB AFLW Season Seven with average player salaries increasing 94% across the board.
The increased pay deal will ensure that the average salary for all 540 players across 18 clubs will rise 94% from $23,904 to $46,280 with AFLW players in season seven to play 10 home and away games and four finals (one additional final than in season six).
The pay rate for players will be:
- Tier 1 players will receive $71,935 - (previously $37,155 – a rise of 94%)
- Tier 2 players will receive $55,559 - (previously $28,697 – a rise of 94%)
- Tier 3 players will receive $47,372 - (previously $24,468 – a rise of 94%)
- Tier 4 players will receive $39,184 - (previously $20,239 – a rise of 94%)
The first round of NAB AFLW season seven will begin on the last weekend of August 2022– the week of the AFL pre-finals bye and will see the introduction of four new teams - Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and the Sydney Swans.
List sizes at each club will be maintained at 30 and with the inclusion of the four new clubs the total number of players will increase from 420 to 540, cementing AFLW’s position as the biggest employer of female athletes in the country.
Player contracts would run from 15 May 2022 through 31 December 2022.
Under the revised CBA, it is estimated that more than 40 of the top AFLW players will be paid more than $100,000 in Season Seven inclusive of TPP, ASAs and other allowable payments – up from 12 players in season six.
The Total Player Payments inclusive of Base amount and Prize Money is $25.6 million for season seven, compared to $10.4 million in season six, an increase of 146%, and four times any other professional women’s team sport in the country.
The AFL has also committed to an enhanced capacity and flexibility within the AFLW soft cap policy to ensure all clubs are able to provide the necessary support for players in season seven.
Clubs will be required to ensure there are minimum levels of medical, physical preparation and high- performance staff resourcing to allow AFLW players to prepare for matches and training sessions more efficiently.
The new CBA includes an increase in AFL distributions to the AFLPA to $925,714 to support the Association in providing greater assistance to AFLW players across player development and injury support.
Under the new agreement player insurance (coverage of excess medial costs) is extended to include aligned second tier matches, and the AFLW Pregnancy and Parental Support Policy has been extended so that the benefits and support available under the policy will be available to parents with children up to three years old, previously 12 months.
Also included in the new CBA is a doubling in relocation allowance for players moving interstate.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said today’s announcement provides certainty for players and clubs and continues the trajectory of sustained growth for the league and women’s football across the country.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience, especially the players and clubs over the last few weeks, and that patience has resulted in a great agreement for both the players and the broader industry.” Mr McLachlan said.
“Our NAB AFLW Competition has accelerated the growth of women’s football across the country, and we are entering a new, exciting phase with all 18 clubs and our focus is now on continuing to support, nurture and amplify our competition at every opportunity,”
“The agreement represents a landmark improvement in pay for AFLW players and an historic level of investment in domestic women’s sport that truly values the contribution of our players and is a giant step forward in achieving our vision of ensuring AFLW players are the best paid female athletes in any local professional competition by 2030.
“As well as providing the best possible outcome for AFLW players, the responsibility of the AFL and the wider football industry is to recognise that we all need to balance the needs of all parts of the football community.
“Ensuring we can continue to invest in pathways for women and girls so that all facilities at community level provide gender-friendly facilities that are welcoming, continue to encourage and support women and girls being involved in football and investing in policies and programs that deliver a safe and welcoming environment for all people at all levels of our game.
“In order to sustain the continued growth of the NAB AFLW competition, we will need to keep investing in the next generation of players, coaches, umpires, administrators, and the next generation of people who will watch, attend, and financially support the growth of football into the future while also continuing to support our 18 clubs to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
“For today - We have a new CBA; a new start date and our focus moves to ensuring everyone is ready to go for season seven in August.”
AFLPA Chief Executive Paul Marsh lauded the agreement as a major step forward for the players and the future of the AFLW.
“Today is a significant and exciting day for AFLW players and for those who are aspiring to be future AFLW players,” AFLPA chief executive Paul Marsh said.
“This agreement is the first step toward our vision of AFLW players being full time footballers by 2026. Our players love the game and are driven to succeed. This CBA acknowledges the important role the AFLW players have and instils great confidence in the future direction of the competition.
“Congratulations to the AFL for showing their belief in this competition and its players. This agreement makes a huge statement as to the AFL’s intent to make AFLW the sport of choice for female athletes.
“Through this process, the players have been united in their vision of what is important for the future. There has been a high level of engagement, which speaks to how much the players care about AFLW and its long-term position on the sporting landscape. I want to thank all of the players for their involvement, and in particular the players on our negotiating committee as well as our captains and delegates.
“The players are thrilled with this CBA and the outcome speaks to the belief we all have in the future of AFLW.”
Key dates for season seven include:
- AFLW Expansion Signing Period 24 May 2022
- Sign and Trade Period 31 May 2022
- NAB AFLW Draft 29 June 2022
- Pre-season commences 13 June 2022
- Season Commences, 25-27 August 2022 *
- Finals commences, 4-6 November 2022 *
- NAB AFLW Grand Final, Weekend of 25-27 November 2022 *
* Fixture dates and game times TBC