Football Association's £18,000-A-Year England Women's Contract 'Embarrassing'

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor has branded the Football Association's £18,000-a-year contract offer to England's top women players as "embarrassing".

On the advice of the Professional Footballers' Association, Hope Powell's squad have opted not to sign their central contracts as Taylor looks to sort out a wrangle over how much time players are able to devote to second jobs in order to supplement their incomes.

It is amazing such arguments are taking place in a sport where top men's players sometimes earn more in a day than their female counterparts get in a year.

After a successful Olympics and with England among the 12 finalists for Euro 2013, which will be held in Sweden in July, the women's game is receiving more publicity than it has ever done.

And Taylor feels it should be reflected in their salaries.

Team GB's women's team at London 2012

"I am surprised the FA have not been more responsive to the girls' reasonable demands," he said.

"In some ways, they have done a lot for the women's game, which now has increased TV coverage and obviously the facility at St George's Park is available for both male and female players.

"But they are offering to move these central contracts up from £16,000, which has been the figure since 2009, to £18,000.

"Come on. That figure is embarrassing. Top Premier League players are earning more in a day."

There is never going to be anything like an equitable salary distribution between male and female football, with the latter still attracting attendances measured in the hundreds for many Women's Super League games.

Taylor has advised Powell and her squad

However, as Taylor noted, the Olympics were a phenomenal success, with 70,584 at Wembley for Team GB women's win over Brazil, more than the men got for their victory over Uruguay in Cardiff the following day.

There can be little doubt either that, unlike with the men, the international game is the pinnacle of the women's game as well as the main vehicle for increased interest and participation.

And Taylor would like to see that reflected in the earning power of England's players.

Casey Stoney was vocal about monetary issues female footballers face

"Basically, these girls are having to commit themselves to England on a full-time basis," he said.

"One player is training to be a lawyer and instead of two years to qualify, it is going to take four.

"When you consider the progress the women's game has made in recent years, and in these days of equality, it is not doing any of us any credit that negotiations have reached an impasse over sums like this."

The situation has not reached such a low point that strikes are being spoken of, and England will head to La Manga for a warm weather training camp later this week as scheduled - the start of their long-term planning for Sweden, which has seen them pitted in a group that also contains Spain, Russia and France.

Team GB captain Casey Stoney told HuffPost UK Sport last year how financially insecure several women footballers are.

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