One local football league is adopting a salary cap for its women’s competitions.
On Tuesday the Essendon District Football League announced it will be formally adopting a women’s salary cap program commencing in 2024 following a two-year trial period.
Within the trial all three of the women’s divisions had a different salary cap, the premier division cap is set to rise for 2024, however both division 1 and 2 will remain the same.
EDFL chief executive Andrew Johnston said this announcement was about making the league a progressive one.
“We want to see ourselves as a progressive league,” Johnstone said.
“We think it’s a great step forward to reward the female side of football.
“It’s been around for a significant amount of years and probably hasn’t got the rewards that it deserves.
“So it’s a step in the right direction.
“We’ve had the trial in place for two years now, and we’ve found that females transferring from club to club has reduced.”
For the 2024 season there is set to be another influx of women’s teams entering or returning to the EDFL with Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Keilor Park returning to the field.
“There’s no pressure on clubs to pay their players,” Johnstone said.
“We just want to reward all the hard work that clubs do and the females do trying to get them up.
“They can use the salary cap to entice females to come to the club, stay at the club, get new players from other areas.”
A full copy of the statement released by the league is below.
“The EDFL and its clubs are committed to the growth and prosperity of women’s football and conducted this trial in the best interests of growing the game, in particular for those clubs that have a limited junior base in under-age girls,” it said.
“Feedback from the clubs indicated there was very strong support for the concept of having a female cap that is completely separate from the men’s cap to support the rapid progression of women’s footy in our league.
“Data has also shown that transfer rates have reduced and stabilised from 2019 to 2023 indicating a higher retention rate of players in women’s programs since the commencement of the trial.
“The adopting of the salary cap does not mean clubs are obliged to make any payment to female players.
“Those that do will come under the same rules and regulations as per AFL Victoria Community Club Sustainability – Guidelines for Player Payment Rules.”