Football - England women 'refuse to sign' FA contracts in wage dispute

England’s women footballers face an uncertain future after reportedly refusing to sign new contracts with The FA over a wage dispute.

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Football - England women 'refuse to sign' FA contracts in wage dispute
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England's women's players celebrate a goal (Reuters)

The contracts of the 17 leading English players, including the vast majority of the squad that represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, have expired and negotiations are understood to have hit major problems.

The dispute, between the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association, over their £16,000-a-year central contracts, has left England’s women’s players not knowing where their next pay packet is coming from, according to a report in The Times newspaper.

On the advice of the PFA, led by chief executive Gordon Taylor, the players have reportedly not accepted pay from The FA on a month-to-month basis, and went unpaid entirely in December.

A pre-season training camp in La Manga may now need to be cancelled due to difficulties over insurance in the event of an injury in the absence of signed central contracts for the players.

The contracts for the women’s players allowed a core of 17 starts to play full-time, but their deals are worth less than a tenth of what leading men’s players, such as Wayne Rooney, receive in a week.

Having not had a pay rise for three years, the players have been offered only a small rise to £18,000 a year, while other issues include secondary employment for the players and maternity packages.

The FA, with general secretary Alex Horne involved in the negotiations, reportedly declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper.

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