If you're like most Americans, you don't pay any attention to soccer except when the World Cup occurs. And even then, you're most likely not watching much of it.
But the US Women's Team just won their 4th World Cup title (their second in a row), and due to the politicization of everything, you're probably aware of two things: some of the players don't like President Donald Trump and female players are paid less than their male counterparts.
And while it's popular to accuse FIFA of discrimination, it's not fair. (Feel free to accuse FIFA of corruption and all sorts of other things, though.)
As Dwight Jaynes pointed out four years ago after the U.S. women beat Japan to capture the World Cup in Vancouver, there is a big difference in the revenue available to pay the teams. The Women's World Cup brought in almost $73 million, of which the players got 13%. The 2010 men's World Cup in South Africa made almost $4 billion, of which 9% went to the players.
The men still pull the World Cup money wagon. The men's World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million, less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women's World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams.
The amount of prize money available for the men's teams is higher because their sport generates more revenue.
It's really pretty simple and not controversial.
Like ticket prices, prize purses are directly related to the amount of revenue the sport generates.
Short of subsidizing women's teams with money earned from the men's tournaments, it seems like the way to increase pay is to increase revenue.
Pete's Prep: Monday, July 8, 2019
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