A SCOTTISH Green councillor has called on the Scottish Football Association to treat its men and women's team equally after the Welsh FA announced a new equal pay agreement. 

It will mean a 25% pay cut for the men’s team to enable a rise of the same amount for the women’s side.

Scotland’s women’s national team announced in December they would be taking legal action against the SFA after talks broke down.

The players will demand a contract that stipulates equal pay and treatment compared to their male counterparts on issues such as training facilities, hotels, travel, kit and medical and nutritional resources.

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Real Madrid’s Caroline Weir previously said that “payments from sponsorship deals overwhelmingly go to the men’s game, and to male players”.

She added: “In our current society, this is one example of the outdated prejudice towards one group of players.”

At the time, Scotland women’s Rachel Corsie said the move stemmed from a sense of “disrespect and lacking value”.

Discussions over agreeing a new pay deal to give equal pay to Wales’ women have been ongoing for over a year, with talks first taking place in November 2021.

Scottish Reaction

Glasgow City councillor Holly Bruce said she was “overjoyed” by the decision taken in Wales and called on the SFA to improve on levels of equality in the game.

She told The National: “It just made me a little bit more concerned that the same thing is not happening here in Scotland.

“I’m aware of the legal challenge being pursued after negotiations broke down so I’m a bit disheartened that couldn’t be resolved at the negotiation stage.

“Women’s football has grown and grown even in the last six months and the Scottish FA should take note.”

Scotland is behind on equality in football when compared to other associations around the world.

For example, the American women’s team reached a reported £17.7 million settlement with US Soccer last year after a six-year legal fight.

Equal pay arrangements are also in place in Norway and Canada while the Republic of Ireland also agreed to an equal match fee deal in August 2022.

“It’s unfortunate because Scotland has a terrible history with not involving women in football and we’re not progressing forward the way we should”, Bruce adds.

Women’s football was actually banned in 1921, while Bruce also cited the example of Rose Reilly, a trailblazer in the game.

Despite the game being banned for women in the 1970s, Reilly left her Ayrshire home at 17 and headed to Europe to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional footballer.  

Elsewhere, the chief executive of one of Scotland’s top football clubs said that just as important as equal pay is equal opportunities and facilities.

'Equal everything' needed for high performance

Glasgow City’s Laura Montgomery said the Welsh announcement was great news but that there was still some way to go to achieve equality.

“It still highlights that women have never been paid the same across virtually every football association as more and more women’s national teams and players take action to change their situation.”

She continued: “Very rarely has an association itself made that change without a pursuit by the pioneering women who want to make things better for the generation that follows.”

Glasgow City has won the most Premier League titles and the most Scottish Cups in Scotland since 2000 and currently sit five points clear at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

She added: “As the Scottish national team legal action shows, equal pay is one thing but in terms of high performance it needs to be equal everything.

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“If our national associations believe in equality then they need to give both their male and female teams the best chance at access and that means the same performance environment.

“Whether that be travel, nutrition, equipment, staff provision and expertise, that fundamentally also has to be equal.”

A Scottish FA statement in respose stated: "In the interests of accuracy, it is important to clarify some facts arising from the latest statement issued by the SWNT.

"First, no national team player, whether men’s or women’s, is paid to play for their country or receive 'appearance fees'.

"International representation is and should always be regarded as a privilege and not a job, a view that we believed to be shared by all.

"We do not consider such fees to be in the spirit of playing for your country.

"Our Men’s and Women’s squads receive a per diem rate for their time with the national team, which has been exactly the same since 2017.

"While other associations such as those named in the SWNT statement may choose to pay appearance fees, our men’s and women’s national team players are incentivised to qualify for major tournaments, from which the teams are paid the same percentage of prize money from the tournament organiser.

"The squads are further remunerated in lieu of contractual media and/or promotional appearances for our national teams’ sponsors

"Again, the Scottish FA has ensured that men’s and women’s players are paid the same amount for appearances involving designated official national teams’ sponsors."

It added: “As a result of ongoing dialogue, in September the Scottish FA sent a draft agreement to the SWNT’s advisers, which confirmed that all financial arrangements for the SWNT and SMNT would be the same – in addition to the existing equal payments for promotional appearances – but have to date received no substantive response."