Equal pay for men and women is not an issue at the DFB – that is also due to the players
Norway is doing it, England and Spain too, as well as the Netherlands and Switzerland from July. More and more football associations are paying male and female players the same premiums. The principle of “equal pay” applies in a total of seven of the 16 participating countries in the European Women’s Soccer Championship in England, which begins on July 6th. In the USA, the men’s and women’s teams are treated equally and are paid equally. In football, as in many other sectors, this is anything but a matter of course – as a look at the situation in Germany shows.
The DFB is still a long way from financial equality. Although women’s football is also increasingly being considered, the association lags far behind in an international comparison. The women have to make do with far fewer bonuses than the men’s team. The times when there was a coffee service as a reward for a title (like after winning the European Championship in 1989) are long gone. Should the team of national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg win the European title, each player will receive 60,000 euros. For men, however, it would have been 400,000 euros per capita in 2021.
Women’s EM: DFB rejects equal pay
“We’re looking forward to the women’s European Championship and have big plans there too,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff. “We negotiated a bonus there too, which is a record, but doesn’t come close to what the men get.” After all, women’s football does not generate the same income as the DFB men’s team – for example in terms of television money, advertising revenue or the sale of fan articles such as jerseys. Here the differences are actually clearly noticeable, even if women’s football has recently gained popularity in Germany. In other countries, however, this does not seem to be a problem.
Meanwhile, the women can at least prepare for the tournament under the same conditions as the men’s national team. “We already started that they have the same support staff, the same equipment,” said Bierhoff. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure that they have the same conditions, but we also believe that by increasing the bonuses we have shown that we want to promote women’s football.”
No demands come from the women’s team
The fact that in Germany, in contrast to other countries, equal pay is not an issue in football is also due to the modesty of the players themselves. Bierhoff points out that there were no such expectations from the women’s national team in the negotiations. Even those who advocate more equality in football are very reluctant to speak out. Silke Raml, who represents the DFB in the Uefa commission for women’s football, said on Deutschlandfunk that “in my opinion we in Germany would be ill-advised if we pushed the DFB in front of us and demanded equal pay for the soccer players.”
Loud and prominent demands like in the USA from superstar Megan Rapinoe have not existed in Germany so far. “It’s not about us Equal Paybut rather about Equal Playi.e. to create equal conditions,” says Giulia Gwinn from FC Bayern. In this respect, a lot is already moving in the right direction, but some things are still a mess. For example, kick-off times for international matches seem important to the women, At least this topic is repeatedly addressed publicly, some of the games were last kicked off at 4 p.m. on weekdays – a time when many fans do not have the opportunity to watch on TV or even come to the stadium.
In Denmark the women went on strike, in Sweden the men gave up
Once these problems have been eliminated, women should also become more involved in the discussion about equal pay. It is clear that the topic will come up again and again in the next few years, especially after the latest developments in other large associations. It is uncertain, however, how long the DFB will then be asked. It may also need a “revolution from below” as in other countries. In Denmark, the players backed up their demands with a strike (successful). And in Sweden, even the men showed solidarity with the women’s team: they waived part of their bonuses so that the association could pay the same money to the women footballers. However, the regulation will not come into force there until September.
Sources: Deutschlandfunk / Sky / DPA