In the top division of Spanish football, Spain’s female footballers have secured the first collective bargaining agreement in the history of Spanish women’s football. The deal is set to drastically improve the conditions and pay for top-flight footballers in the country.
The deal comes after nearly 18-months of negotiation over a pay dispute which even saw the players go on strike for the first time ever last November.
As part of the deal, players will get an annual minimum salary of €16,000 with those on part-time contracts receiving 75% of the full-time salary. This had been the main sticking point from the the association of clubs (ACFF) and various players’ unions where the request had been for for part-time player salaries to be €12,000, rather than the €8,000.
With the collective bargaining agreements officially presented at the Spanish Congress in Madrid, the players’ request for maternity, holiday and injury pay are expected to have been met.
“This Collective Agreement will give security to the group with a framework of employment relations already set that equals women with men in football.
“The signing of this agreement is a historic event for Spanish sport and also a source of inspiration for the other colleagues who practise other sports,” the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) said in a statement.
Should a player become pregnant while in the final year of her contract, she can opt to automatically be given a one-year contract extension.
Clubs had maintained that they could not afford to meet the terms and argued that some of the 16 teams that compose the Primera Iberdrola would go out of business.
The agreement was helped when the Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro added another €1.1m per season to their current television rights deal. The group initially purchased the rights of 12 Primera Iberdrola clubs in March 2019 for €3 million per season for three seasons.
“Mediapro has been key in solving the problem, showing, once again, its firm commitment to women’s football,” the clubs said in a statement.
The Spanish FA announced last month it had taken steps to facilitate the collective agreement.
The federation said that clubs of the first and second division would be allowed to join the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Lite Program, which offers each club €500,000 and €100,000, respectively, per season. Until now, only three clubs that were not part of the Association of Women’s Football Clubs (ACFF) could benefit from it.
The union said the strike action which occured last November, the first since the league creation in 1988, was pivotal.
“The strike proved crucial and was a turning point in what has been a long process that finally the negotiations were unblocked,” AFE said in a statement.
The collective agreement will be extended from season to season.