Netball Aus Shows The AFL How It’s Bloody Done With Bonza New Pay Deal

Professional women’s sport in Australia is undergoing something of a revolution at the moment, albeit an extremely long overdue one.

And it’s not just football that’s breaking new ground either. Netball is about to undergo the largest domestic shift the sport has ever seen in Australia, with the recent launch of the National Netball League heralding an enormous restructuring of the previous ANZ Championship.
The NNL comes as a result of a mutual split away from the joint-Australian/New Zealander ANZ Championship, and marks the first time Australia has supported its own standalone national netball league since 2007.
With the announcement of the NNL also came the huge, groundbreaking broadcast rights deal with the Nine Network. And today, that deal will see players receive a massive boost in salary.
Netball Australia is set to announce that the minimum player salary for netballers in the elite league will double from the previous minimum mark of $15,000, meaning players in the NNL will be earning a bare minimum of $30,000 annually for the their talents, with many set to rake in far more.
Additionally, a raft of player-friendly benefits is set to be introduced, like allowing players with children to travel with carers at their club’s expense.
Netball Australia deputy chief executive Marne Fechner heralded the new pay deal as a landmark moment for professional and part-time professional athletes in Australia, and will create new pathways for careers in sport for Australia’s elite female athletes.

“It’s a landmark deal for Australian Netball athletes. It maintains netballers as the highest-paid professional athletes in the country and it provides a great mix of being part-time professional athletes.”

“Players with children under 12 months will be able to return to their playing and training commitments but still have their children looked after while they do that. We have very few that have taken that pathway and returned to the sport.”

The deal throws the gauntlet down to the AFL and their newly created National Women’s League, which has faced criticism for its extremely low pay offers to players ahead of its inaugural 2017 season.

The NNL will kick off its first season in 2017 with an eight team league, sporting the five teams from the previous ANZ Championship – the Queensland Firebirds, the NSW Swifts, the Melbourne Vixens, the Adelaide Thunderbirds, and the West Coast Fever – and three expansion clubs tied to the Melbourne Storm (the freshly created Sunshine Coast Lightning), the Collingwood Football Club, and a joint venture between Netball New South Wales and the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
The new league will commence its first season in February 2017.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: Jason O’Brien/Getty.