Georgia Boric’s departure from Jets starts conversation around ALW salary  

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Earlier this week, Newcastle Jets announced that goalkeeper Georgia Boric had made the decision to leave the club due to work commitments.

This begs the question: is it time to re-evaluate the salary discrepancy between the men’s and women’s leagues?

It’s common knowledge amongst the football community that the vast majority of women playing in the league are forced to secure employment outside of the game in order to make ends meet.

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The salary discrepancy between the A-League Men’s and A-League Women’s leagues has always been a point of contention and we are now starting to see the fallout.

As of September 2021, the ALW minimum wage was $17,055. In stark contrast, the ALM’s minimum wage at $45,000 for 16 to 19-year-olds before increasing incrementally with age.

Sponsorships, endorsements, and other earnings aside, the difference in salary between men and women playing in the league is substantial and is forcing players like Boric to make the difficult decision to leave the game.

Speaking to media following the Jets’ 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, coach Ash Wilson had her say on the matter.

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“It was a very tough decision for Georgia and it’s something that I’m saddened about,” she said.

“I’m sad that that’s where she’s at.

“We know that the women’s game poses these challenges and at the end of the day, Georgia wanted to be here for the team, and she wanted to keep playing but there were circumstances beyond her control, and we had to be supportive of that.”

Although the salary gap is there, the reason for it is clear. The ALM receives more media coverage and sponsorship deals which contribute to a higher revenue. It’s not the fault of the ALW players, however, that the women’s game receives less coverage.

This season saw a step in the right direction with the A-League rebranding to include both leagues with more coverage of the ALW becoming available through Paramount+.

There is, however, still a long way to go with players like Boric still having to make the difficult decision to put other employment ahead of playing in the league.

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“There’s so many players that have to balance these things,” said Wilson.

“It’s the nature of the game.

“If I had the solution, if I had the answers on how to fix it, I’d probably be in a different job, and I probably wouldn’t have my other job either. I might just be doing this full time.”

Speaking candidly, Wilson spoke of her admiration for the players in the league and the difficulties they face in what they must juggle to play.

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“My opinion is that these girls go above and beyond every week in terms of how they train and how they conduct themselves,” she said.

“And then they go off to work.

“Some of the things some of them have to deal with day in, day out and then they turn up and train and play and give me what they give me. I’m in awe of them every week.”

Despite the challenge the ALW faces, Wilson said it made her players hungrier and more determined.

“These girls are balancing their work commitments and still giving performances like they have tonight,” she said.

“They’re fighters and they’re making their community proud.

“I couldn’t ask for much more.”

Feature Image Credit: Sproule Sports Focus 

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Grace Clegg
Grace Clegg
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Communication (News Media and PR) at the University of Newcastle. Coffee addict.

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