Former Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer has said that equal pay in football is “ridiculous”.
Growing calls are being made within the game to remove financial inequalities between male and female players, with the likes of Norway and the Netherlands currently leading the way in committing to equal pay.
Earlier this year the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced that the national women’s team will receive increased compensation for the next four years until it reaches an equal payout with the men’s outfit in 2023.
In December 2017, Norway’s footballers signed an equal-pay agreement that guaranteed all international senior male and female players would be paid the same wages.
And in the US, the World Cup-winning team remains involved in an ongoing dispute with their own federation over equal pay.
But despite such changing attitudes, De Boer believes that women’s footballers don’t “deserve” to be paid the same as men.
“I think for me, it’s ridiculous,” De Boer told the Guardian. “It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to [earn] and not less, just what they really deserve.
“If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”
He added: “I think it started because a woman [was] getting underpaid, especially at [managerial] positions. They have to earn the same like a man. I think if you have a manager position for a bank or something, you have to earn the same what the men did because it’s not physically, just only here [points to head], so why do you have to earn less, because you’re doing the same job as a man?
“I think that’s also dropped a little bit into the sports world, like tennis and soccer. But I think that’s still different.”