AFLW players deliver verdict on new pay deal
The AFL Women's collective bargaining agreement has been passed with an overwhelming majority in favour of the deal.
The deal was given the tick by 98 per cent of players in a competition-wide vote that closed on Sunday night.
It paves the way for the 2020 pre-season to begin in late November, with plans in place to announce the AFLW04 fixture tomorrow.
The new deal was presented last week after players agreed to drop their push for 13 rounds plus finals by 2020, with greater prizemoney for finalists and more clarity on pre-season and season dates just two of a number of conditions that were assured. Players have also been promised an independent review of AFLW to be undertaken by the league.
Players association chief executive Paul Marsh said that the long-term focus remained on continuing to grow the competition.
"The competition has taken great strides forward each year and this deal guarantees increases in wages, games, training time and funding for off-field support at a time when 120 new playing positions have been created through the introduction of four new teams," he said.
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"Our players have a strong desire to keep growing the competition, and while they accept they won't play every team once within this CBA, growth in the number of games will continue to be a priority for players moving forward.
"We are also pleased to have a commitment to an AFLW Competition Review, which will allow us to work closely with players and the industry on matters of importance to ensure AFLW players have every opportunity to thrive."
The league's head of women's football described the deal as a "great outcome".
"It delivers certainty to the current AFLW playing group and allows investment in the future of women's football to sustain the long-term growth of the women's game at all levels," Nicole Livingstone said.
"We've come so far, and we've gathered such momentum and possibility. As we continue on the journey of expanding the competition, 10 teams become 14 and 120 new players will get their opportunity to play next season.
"I thank the AFLPA for their advocacy on behalf of their members and most importantly the players for their passion, courage and commitment to the continued success and long-term sustainability of the competition."