Matildas' fury at Gallop pay talks snub

Striking Matildas spoke of their anger at FFA chief David Gallop snubbing them at the deadlocked pay talks today, and admitted they felt "disappointed and disrespected".

The Matildas - who reached the furthest stage of any Australian national team when they got to the quarter finals at the Women's World Cup in June - were supposed to be going into training to prepare for a trip to play the USA next week.

But after joining Professional Footballers Australia in a show of unity at today's Collective Bargaining Agreement pay talks and seeing them end in further stalemate, they vowed to boycott the camp and put the USA tour in doubt.
Matildas boycott pre-tour camp
And they were infuriated at the snub by Chief Executive Gallop, who left A-League boss Damien De Bohun to lead negotiations.
Matildas defender Alanna Kennedy, who played every game at the Women’s World Cup added: "We weren’t even acknowledged, I’m sure David Gallop was in the building, but to be not be acknowledged, it make us feel pretty disrespected.  
“We’ve shown what we can do on the field, we’ve shown our dedication playing for Australia. In return we would like to be rewarded with the standards that should be met as a professional footballer. So to walk away today and for the negotiations to still be up in the air, we are disappointed.”
“After today people we will be aware of the severity of what we are going through, and the struggles that we are facing, and now is the best time, for us not to leave it any later. 
"It’s digging into the time that we could have been preparing for the Olympics. 
"We are just hoping we have the support of the public and our fans, we’ve got the support of the Socceroos and the A-League behind us and the help of the PFA, and we are just looking to get a deal done so we can represent our country.”
As well as negotiating the Matildas pay deal for the next four years, the PFA claims the team hasn't even been paid for the last two months. The PFA believe the Matildas' decision to boycott their training camp is a "seminal moment" in the history of the game in Australia.

“This is massive,” said PFA CEO Adam Vivian. “I don’t want to shy away from this. The Matildas are actually taking a stand, these girls are uncontacted elite female athletes, who are at the peak of their game, who are highly successful and are not getting remunerated now. 
“They are two pay cycles behind. In terms of taking a stand there is no greater sacrifice than what these girls are doing because the reward it isn’t there. They may get backpaid eventually but that doesn’t help put food on the table now and that doesn’t resolve the issue that’s on hand at the moment.”
Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams said that the team were representing all female sport in Australia, not just women's football.
“A lot of us have friends in the Southern Stars the Diamonds, the Opals, we have grown up together at the state institutes with them,” she said.
 “When they succeed, we succeed in women’s sport. When we succeed, they succeed. So right now to have the support of women’s sport in Australia is really important for us, Not only that but all the football associations as well.
"We feel really strongly in this so to have that support in that sense is really important.”
Vivian said the recent achievements of the Matildas had not been reflected in talks with the FFA.
“Their performances speak for themselves, affordability is not a discussion because they don’t control the affordability of the FFA, they don’t control the cost they don’t control the revenue stream, so it’s about fair and equitable remuneration for the work that they do," he added.
“At issue here, is their work value. I don’t think the Matildas are valued to the degree with which they deliver both on and off the pitch. And how important they are in the growth of the game at the grass roots level, particularly with our young aspiring female and male athletes. 
“The Matildas are a fantastic brand to be aligned with and the onus in terms of whose responsibly that is sits at the feet of the FFA. The players should be appropriately remunerated for the value of the work they do, not based on the commercial revenues or anything like that.”

(Photos: Kevin Airs)
Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.