Women's league footballers to strike over minimum pay

Players call strike for first two matchdays of new season over lack of negotiation on collective agreement

The Estadi Johan Cruyff, where Barcelona Femení play their home games
The Estadi Johan Cruyff, where Barcelona Femení play their home games / FC Barcelona
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

September 1, 2023 04:48 PM

September 1, 2023 05:10 PM

World champions, yes, but major problems still remain within women's football in Spain. 

As well as the Rubiales non-consensual kiss scandal, the players in the country's women's league, Liga F, have announced they will go on strike for the first two matchdays of the 2023/24 season. 

The strike, announced by the AFE players' union, has been called in protest against what they denounce as a lack of willingness to engage in negotiations to improve minimum wages. 

The minimum wage in Liga F currently stands at €16,000 per annum on a working week contract of 75%, meaning in reality the minimum players can be paid is €12,000, and according to reports, the players want this raised to €35,000 over the next three years and the time partiality to be removed. 

The new Liga F season was due to kick off on September 8, but the strike has now been called for that weekend as well as the following one.  

A statement from AFE reads: "After more than a year of negotiations, and faced with the impossibility of reaching a satisfactory agreement with the employers, the unions, as representatives of the workers, have been forced to call two days of strike."

Women's fight for professionalism

The top women’s football league in Spain was officially declared professional in June 2021

The aim of turning professional was to bring increased funds and exposure to the women’s game, as audiovisual rights packages are redrawn and sold. 

Additionally, the current labor agreement of women’s football, which sets some minimum standards for employment conditions, was up for renegotiation. The minimum salary for players in the league is set at €16,000 per annum but with a 75% partiality of the working week, which is still the case. 

Now, the players are looking to have this labor agreement redrawn again with an eye to improving conditions.