The Scottish women’s national team have begun legal action against the Scottish FA in a fight for equal pay and working conditions.
The squad are poised to take their case to an employment tribunal in order to ‘ensure equal treatment and equality of payments between the male and female national sides’.
Players have described feeling like ‘an after-thought’, having experienced years of ‘disrespect’.
“This is about all professional footballers being treated equally,” said Scotland captain Rachel Corsie. “After years of iniquity, disrespect, and in some cases abuse, we have a historic opportunity to advance equal pay and to promote equality for women and girls in football.
“This campaign is about parity, and we’ll be seeking to engage with the Scottish Football Association, the fans, and everyone in Scotland’s football community to deliver this long overdue change.”
The USWNT won a $24m payout earlier this year following their six-year battle over equal pay, and officially signed the collective bargaining agreement in September, which secured equal pay, prize money and bonuses for the men’s and women’s teams.
The Netherlands and Spain both also announced equal pay deals in the lead up to Euro 2022, while the FA in England began paying male and female players the same appearance fees and bonuses for senior international games outside major tournaments at the start of 2020.
“For so many years we’ve felt an after-thought, and whilst we have seen growth it’s come as a result of driving our own change,” added Real Madrid midfielder Caroline Weir.
“Payments from sponsorship deals overwhelmingly go to the men’s game, and to male players. In our current society, this is one example of the outdated prejudice towards one group of players. If shared out equally, there would be a dramatic increase in funding for women’s and girls’ football at all levels that would be transformative.”
In April, multiple members of the Scotland squad published identical social media posts criticising the way ticket sales were being handled ahead of their clash with Spain at Hampden Park, with not all of the stadium appearing to be open.
The SFA went on to clarify the decision, stating the sales procedure was identical to that of a men’s game, but the incident brought to head frustrations over equality of treatment between the men’s and women’s team.
“This campaign must be the start of an irreversible turning point to forever change our national game, and the way women players are treated,” added Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert. “It’s about advancing and achieving equality in Scottish football.”