An open letter from the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, reveals information that turns the “equal pay” debate on its head. According to the report, not only has the women’s team been paid more than the men, but they’ve been paid more while losing millions of dollars in the process.
U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro released a letter on Monday stating his organization’s position that the U.S. Women’s National Team is not underpaid despite the cacophony from those braying for “equal pay” for the women.
“Over the past decade, U.S. Soccer paid our Women’s National Team more than our Men’s National Team,” Cordeiro said in his letter. “From 2010 through 2018, U.S. Soccer paid our women $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses, and we paid our men $26.4 million — not counting the significant additional value of various benefits that our women’s players receive but which our men do not.”
“From 2009 through 2019 — a timeframe that includes two Women’s World Cup championships — the Women’s National Team has earned gross revenue of $101.3 million over 238 games, for an average of $425,446 per game,” the soccer chief added, “and the Men’s National Team has earned gross revenue of $185.7 million over 191 games, for an average of $972,147 per game.”
My letter and fact sheet to our soccer community about the @USWNT lawsuit. We’re committed to doing right by our women’s players, and I’m optimistic we can get this done. https://t.co/5bzV4KRFdm (1/2) pic.twitter.com/GYYnPH1Z7c
— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) July 29, 2019
But that is not all Cordeiro had to report to soccer fans. According to the federation’s accounting, the women’s team lost a ton of money even as the players were paid more than the men.
“More specifically, WNT games have generated a net profit (ticket revenues minus event expenses) in only two years (2016 and 2017). Across the entire 11-year period, WNT games generated a net loss of $27.5 million,” Cordeiro reported.
Cordeiro did not feel that the massive financial loss of women’s soccer was necessarily a bad thing, though. “U.S. Soccer does not view these as losses, but rather as an important investment in our Women’s National Team and in the long-term growth of women’s soccer,” he said.
Many of the players on the women’s team have brought their complaints about equal pay to court with a lawsuit filed against the federation. Twenty-eight players joined together to file a gender discrimination lawsuit in March, claiming that the soccer organization is discriminating against them because they are women.
The U.S. Women’s National Team has also responded to Cordeiro’s open letter by insisting that the numbers are “false.” USWNT spokesperson Molly Levinson also accused Cordeiro of perpetrating a “ruse.”
“The USSF has repeatedly admitted that it does not pay the women equally and that it does not believe the women even deserve to be paid equally,” Levinson told the media. “This is why they use words like ‘fair and equitable,’ not equal in describing pay.”
“The USSF fact sheet is not a ‘clarification.’ It is a ruse. Here is what they cannot deny. For every game a man plays on the MNT, he makes a higher base salary payment than a woman on the WNT. For every comparable win or tie, his bonus is higher. That is the very definition of gender discrimination,” Levinson added in her statement. “For the USSF to believe otherwise, is disheartening, but it only increases our determination to obtain true equal pay.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.