The Matildas are paid $23,000 less per goal than the Socceroos

Chris Stead 14 September 2015

Matildas paid per goal

The Australian women's football team, the Matildas, has enjoyed a fantastic year, but you wouldn't know it from their pay packet. Just how does their income compare to the men in the Socceroos?

Here is a scary statistic. As a player for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, Australian Socceroos captain Tim Cahill banks approximately $27,397 a day ¬ and that's before any international bonuses or endorsement deals. Meanwhile, Matilda's co-captain Lisa De Vanna is on track to make a base income around $27,397… in total. For the year.

Yes, Cahill makes in a day what De Vanna makes in a year.

That's no slight on Cahill, one of the best players Australia has ever produced and a true international star, but it's a stark reflection of how we value sports players depending on their gender. De Vanna is a legend of the female game and world-renowned as well – she is the Cahill of the Matildas team. Also a forward, De Vanna has played for Australia 19 more times than Cahill with a whopping 104 caps, and has scored 37 goals, only four less than her male counterpart.

In addition, she has led the Matildas to an excellent quarter finals finish at the Women's World Cup in 2015 – again better than the Socceroos achieved in their World Cup - and presided during a time when video game sensation FIFA 16 by EA Sports included a Matilda on the cover for the very first time.

Absorb those facts, have a good look at the table below and digest all it tells you. Note that in 2014 the Matildas had five times the number of victories of the Socceroos and scored twice as many goals. Also note that on average, the Matildas are twice as experienced as the Socceroos players, and thus have given twice as much of themselves to the Australian cause.

StatisticSocceroosMatildas
Players used in 20154235
Average international caps per player1835
Base contract per year$0$21,000
Games in 20141111
Victories in 201415
Cost per victory per player$257,000$1,450
Goals in 20141122
Cost per goal$23,364$330
Clean sheets in 201411
Cost per clean sheet$257,000$7,250
Maximum total bonuses in 2014$257,000$7,250
Scheduled games for 20151415
Games so far1115
Victories in 201589
Cost per victory per player$18,389$1,748
Goals in 2015 so far2637
Cost per goal$5,658$425
Clean sheets in 2015 to date66
Cost per clean sheet$24,518$2,621
Maximum total bonuses in 2015 (to date)$147,109$15,728
Maximum total bonuses 2015 (projected)$166,609$15,728
Best possible incomes since Jan 2014 (per person)$404,109$59,728
Cup Bonus Breakdown
Games at Asia Cup65
Asia Cup income (prize money + bonuses)$114,609$4,250
Games at World Cup34
World Cup income (prize money + bonuses)$205,000$10,728

It doesn't seem fair, does it? Note that this isn't inevitable in sport. Compare the top-ranked tennis players in the world right now, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams. Both have enjoyed similar years (Djokovic has won 6 titles, Williams 5). So far, Novak has received $10,618,664 in prize money, while Williams has scored $9,792,645. There's a disparity there, but it's nowhere near as pronounced as with Australian soccer.

If you're curious, here's how the bonuses break down:

Cup Bonus BreakdownMaleFemale
Games at Asia Cup65
Asia Cup income (prize money + bonuses)$114,609$4,250
Games at World Cup34
World Cup income (prize money + bonuses)$205,000$10,728
Standard International Bonus Breakdown$6,500 per standard international game$500 per standard international game
$7,500 per group-stage tournament game$500 per group-stage tournament game
$8,500 per round 16 game$600 per round of 16-tournament game
$9,500 per tournament quarter-final$750 per tournament quarter-final
$11,500 per tournament semi-final or 3rd v 4th playoff$1,250 per tournament semi-final or third or fourth-place playoff
Estimated $13,500 for final$1,500 per tournament final
plus:
an equal share in 30 per cent of all prize money

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