Non-allocated players form NWSL Players Association

The Equalizer Staff May 15, 2017 41

NWSL PA logoA constitution and bylaws were ratified earlier this month in the formation of the National Women’s soccer League Players Association (NWSL PA). The NWSL PA will represent all non-allocated NWSL players including any rostered amateur players. Allocated players have their own representation through their respective federation associations but the NWSL PA will work with them as well.

NWSL players have been grossly underpaid since the start of the league and are powerless in their ability to choose which teams they play for. Even with minimum salary more than doubling, the bottom-end salary is only $15,000 for a six month season not including preseason and playoffs. Veteran players are not guaranteed to be offered above and beyond the league minimum.

The mission statement of the NWSL PA reads as follows:

We are proud to announce the official formation of the National Women’s Soccer Association (NWSL) Players Association. We, the non-Allocated Players of NWSL, vow to build on the opportunity that has been afforded us, as well as to work to achieve those goals that have not yet been attained. We honor the vision and progress of those who came before us…Pledge to work with the League and Allocated Players to advance continued improvements in women’s soccer…Commit ourselves to doing all in our power for the betterment of our members so that we may best contribute to the common goal; a world-class product on the field, and to be role models and inspire the next generation off the field.

Later Monday, NWSL released a statement which read: “We respect the players’ right to organize and form a players association, and look forward to establishing a relationship with their leadership that will serve the league, the players and our fans alike.”

  • guest

    Good for them. It’s not like the equality preaching NT players were willing to go to bat for them (cough cough Pinoe, Lloyd, Morgan, Press, et al)

    • Kaley

      What are you talking about? Some of those players specifically have spoken about this and they got NWSL-specific stuff into their CBA earlier this year. Broon immediately tweeted about this. Morgan is already following the NWSL PA twitter.

      • kernel_thai

        Negotiation, as per usual, were a mixed bag for the NWSL. The PA was told they can’t negotiate for the league players (loss), NWSL teams now required to have 18 players on travel roster (win), Higher floater pay and less floater restrictions (win) lower minimum number of NT congrats (loss). And Im sure there r just as many on both sides we don’t know about.

        • tonysocref

          Not sure the travel roster(18) is a requirement at this time. Granted they have 4 listed as not available due to injury, but the Thorns only had 15 out of 20 at the match this past weekend in KC. The rest were still in Portland.

          • JL

            Exceptions for the rule that 18 players must travel and be on the game day roster are provided when a team has injuries that prevent them having 18.

          • tonysocref

            With 4 on the injury report, if the 18 player travel roster (minus injuries) is a requirement, why then did only 15 travel with the team?

          • mockmook

            18-4=14

          • tonysocref

            20 active minus 4 = 16 🙂

          • Arcie Tillydee

            No Meg Morris in the traveling squad…very strange.

          • DNG

            Portland are going to have to cut some players very soon if they want to sign Lussi and Sykes(maybe Jordan who just left Glasgow). Morris is a player I’d figure is on the top of the chopping block list. Still not sure why she wouldn’t be traveling though.

          • tonysocref

            According to the Thorns’ press release back in March, Sykes is signed and will be added to the roster on June 10th. Parson’s did say last week that she would be in Portland sometime between the 10th and 15th of June.

            You might be right about Morris. She has been on 4 match rosters but has only played 11 minutes. Since she wasn’t listed on the injury report for this past weekend, unknown why she didn’t travel with the team.

          • KT5000

            Last I heard (and I think this was a Parsons interview) Morris’ status was “limited minutes”. Thus, maybe she still qualifies as injured when it comes to travel?

        • Guest

          How is having more travel players a big win for the players or even a win? Why not make it 20 players or 22, just imagine the win then. There are only 14 players who are going to get to play max, why mandatory travel 18? Higher floater pay, not sure what that is. The decision on minimum salaries going up was made long before the CBA. I guarantee that if you have the details of what the USWNT supposedly negotiated to help their colleagues, it would be minimal.

      • Guest

        If you think most USWNT do anything other than what protects the current pool and benefits them you are dreaming. How much effort did any of them put into promoting the NWSL so their non-allocated teammates would benefit. Now, more of them are doing it because it looks like the league is going to make it and they will get some credit. What specifically did the USWNT negotiate during the CBA that benefits the NWSL players?

  • more reporting please

    As noted elsewhere, their media contact is NC-based attorney, former WUSA Courage and WPS Sky Blue FC keeper, and former WPS Players Union rep Meghann Burke.

    • more reporting please

      Also wouldn’t hurt to link to the actual press release, aka the source for this news: https://twitter.com/NWSL_PA/status/864177972223381504

      • more reporting please

        Howard Megdal has more details from Yael Averbuch: “Outside of (Burke) we don’t have any officers elected yet,” FC Kansas City’s Yael Averbuch told VICE Sports, “but each team has two representatives and I’m a rep for FCKC.”

  • mockmook

    NWSL players have been grossly underpaid since the start of the league and are powerless in their ability to choose which teams they play for. Even with minimum salary more than doubling, the bottom-end salary is only $15,000 for a six month season not including preseason and playoffs. Veteran players are not guaranteed to be offered above and beyond the league minimum.

    Oh EQ, you are so predictable.

    So (even though there is no mention of these issues in the Press Release), you seem to think the PA will somehow magically make money appear to fix these problems?

    I’m happy (if they are happy) that they are banding together to speak with a bit of a louder voice, but don’t look for miracles from this development. Well, cautiously happy — let’s hope they don’t use their limited leverage to go on political tangents with little to nothing to do with ALL players’ welfare.

    • more reporting please

      until somebody bothers to find out and report on how much money the league gets from A+E and go90, we don’t know how much (or little) money the league has to pay players and cover costs. “multi-million dollar deal” is so vague as to be meaningless

      • USMNTfan4life

        A+E does not pay them. They just cover cost of broadcasting the game and hope the equity they bought into for the NWSL pays off in the long run.

  • HOFCToDi

    2017 NWSL Season
    13 May 2017
    FC Kansas City versus Portland Thorns
    Attendance: 1796

    us.women.soccerway.com/matches/2017/05/13/united-states/national-womens-soccer-league/kansas-city/portland-thorns/2425738/

    2017 NWSL Season
    14 May 2017
    Chicago Red Stars versus Boston Breakers
    Attendance: 1827

    us.women.soccerway.com/matches/2017/05/15/united-states/national-womens-soccer-league/chicago-red-stars/boston-breakers/2425740/

  • #1Fan

    This is a very welcome development. Im really rooting for them to be a huge success. If Yael is involved then I’m a believer

    • JL

      Every team has two representatives, and Averbuch is one of KC’s 2.

    • DNG

      I think this is a positive move for the players like I think most here but this is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t want USWNT players getting paid by the federation. They have essentially taken themselves out of these negotiations and are unable to really help in this effort. It weakens the union’s standing somewhat. I just hope the players and owners are able to work together effectively and that they don’t try to move too fast too quickly.

      • #1Fan

        excellent point. Unions are most powerful when those that have assist those that dont. USWNT pay inservice to that. Its always been – ” as long as I get mine …….”

  • guest

    the nwsl pa should sue the uswnt for lack of equal opportunity and put an end to uswnt guaranteed salaries.

    • Guest

      That’s just what the league needs is a good couple of lawsuits that raise the costs for everyone and keep everyone focused on the BS rather than building the league. You should offer your consulting services, you’ve clearly thought this through.

  • Ashley C

    Great news.

    • Guest

      Great News? Is anyone making money? Everyone cheer for higher costs across the board. If everyone who cheered for higher costs would actually go to games and actively drag others to games the salaries and benefits would rise naturally.

  • AGuest2

    Not sure the timing on this was well thought out, but it will be nice for the players. However, it will be just another nail in the coffin for some of the independent owners struggling to get their attendance numbers up. The players organizing now, and the future ramifications that could come out of all of it, may help to expedite the selling of certain teams. In some cases, it will be great for fans of those teams if they pick up a new owner like another MLS club, but what happens to those dedicated fans, when the new owners relocate the team.

    • DNG

      According to the article by Caitlin Murray it’s not actually a Union(yet). So they won’t have to worry about CBA negotiations yet. Supposedly it’s a first step to starting a players union and a vehicle of communication between the players and the owners.

    • guest

      it was inevitable, when the nwsl players see the uswnt players getting the highest nwsl salaries even though they both do equal work and the uswnt players consistently miss a third of the nwsl games.

    • Rdalford

      Given 5 year USSF commitment (to play allocated salaries and continue support of NWSL) included in new CBA and 3 year (plus equity investment) duration of NWSL-LifeTime deal – could be argued that NWSL ownership is in the best financial situation to consider better deal for non-allocated players.

      Everyone (players, owners, USSF and LifeTime – and fans) needs to be concerned about the lagging NWSL attendance numbers and lack of new sponsorship deals. More $$$ is needed to enable better labor deal.

      My reading of both the players association announcement and NWSL/owners statement is that both have set a collaborative (vs combative) or at least a respectful tone. So I am hopeful that end result is better deal for players AND better attendance and more new sponsorship deals to address financials.

      • Steglitz49

        The phrase that — “the meetings were held in a comradely spirit of mutual trust” — used to indicate that there were strong differences of opinion.

        Another euphemism was that “s/he wanted to spend more time with the family”.

        The classic English ones, which are from real life, are — “to be economical with the truth” — and — “to be economical with the actuality”.

    • Patrick Pos

      Hopefully the owners of SBFC will be forced to sell. It will come down to that or being forced to fold because there is no one at the games, especially if Manchester City moves in or the Union recreate a Philly team.

      • Steglitz49

        No doubt any owner sells if the price is right. The owner of Sky Blue risked capital and put cash on the nail when it was necessary. The owner deserves a return on investment.

        As long as the owner defrays the losses, there is no problem.

        • Patrick Pos

          Not with them. Two MLS teams wanted to form a partnership and they refused. They said they would turn the teams too business orientated.

          They haven’t put money anywhere. They don’t offer players any type of decent housing, they don’t publicise, they don’t do anything. They play at a stadium that the 2nd level of women pro soccer would play at, meanwhile there is a huge stadium like other league teams play at RIGHT down the road!

          One of there owners is CEO of Bath and Body! I would expect a better team!

          • Steglitz49

            Which two MLS teams?

            The only one I have heard mentioned was Red Bull and that was nixed by Red Bull’s HQ in Austria who do not invest in WoSo. Red Bull only invests in well established female sportstars like Lindsey Vonn and only a few of those.

            If players do not like to play for Sky Blue then there are plenty of clubs in Europe they can play for. They cannot, well understood, get the sort of salaries that the crème-de-la-crème get in Europe but c’est la vie. There is also Japan.

          • Guest

            What exactly did the two MLS offer them in this mythical partnership you mention? I’ll bet you don’t have a clue. Also, seems as if he’s the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation he’s probably pretty good at managing and making decisions given the tradeoffs.

          • mockmook

            “meanwhile there is a huge stadium like other league teams play at RIGHT down the road”

            What stadium?

            And, how does a bigger stadium mean more attendance when you aren’t selling out the small one?

  • sowerofpower

    Inverted Triangle podcast with Averbuch and company w.r.t. Players Association.
    Becoming a big fan of Neil Morris NWSL interviews…
    http://www.wralsportsfan.com/soccer/audio/16708051/