Minimum Wage for Female Soccer Players: Why Lina Magull is Right – Sport

There are still five games to go before the final of the European Championship in England. Reaching the final at Wembley would be a huge achievement for the German national team. You have already won the European Championship eight times, but lost in the quarter-finals of the most recent edition in 2017 and have not won a title since then. If they succeeded in doing this, they would be rewarded by the German Football Association (DFB) with a historically high bonus: 60,000 euros for each. That’s significantly less than the 400,000 euros for the men in the event of a World Cup victory in Qatar – but significantly more than the 37,500 that would have been given for a triumph five years ago.

Is that enough? Should it be more? Half of the associations represented at the Women’s European Championship have now decided in different ways that income should be distributed more fairly between women and men: England, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The DFB does not see this point as yet, for which the national players have expressed understanding, such as captain Alexandra Popp in the SZ interview. Equal conditions first, before we talk about equal pay, that’s the motto at the moment – especially for the women’s Bundesliga.

National player Lina Magull also considers the EM bonus to be appropriate. However, she has now demanded more money for the day-to-day business in the clubs: “We footballers should earn so well from the second division that nobody has to work part-time anymore,” said the 27-year-old from FC Bayern Bild. With a “minimum salary of 2,000 or 3,000 euros a month,” says Magull, one could advance the development of women’s football in the long term. “It’s not about several million, but about an increase with which “everyone – not just the national players – their sport to practice professionally”.

This demand in terms of progress is justified. In Germany, the players study and work alongside football, only a few are full professionals. While the top earners earn five-digit amounts a month, there are others who receive no more than an expense allowance of a few hundred euros.

It was no different in the Spanish league, until the players went on strike, negotiated and are now guaranteed a minimum salary of 16,000 euros per year including maternity leave via a collective agreement. In the host country of the European Championship, England, clubs have to meet certain minimum requirements for a license in the Women’s Super League, including when it comes to pay. “I don’t know why that doesn’t work in Germany,” says Magull. “We need more funds to drive development forward.”

The budget for an entire women’s team in the Bundesliga – which, in addition to payment, also includes infrastructural issues such as floodlights, undersoil heating and the condition of sanitary facilities – is hardly the annual salary of many, even for champions VfL Wolfsburg at an estimated six million euros male professional. If everyone could focus fully on football and train more, that would increase performance and thus the attractiveness of a sport that has already developed technically and tactically. That in turn would attract more sponsors – and bring in more money.

The women’s departments of the Bundesliga could not finance a minimum wage on their own. In a sport where millions and billions flow, the question is, “Who’s going to pay for this?” but maybe not really. Rather, it is about whether the clubs have an interest in it.