Post-World Cup pre-Olympics new$

The U.S. national women’s soccer team managed to alienate people who should have been fans by stridently dissing conservatives on the way to their Women’s World Cup win.

One year from now, the team will compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, assuming the team doesn’t do what, if they were serious about their pay situation, it should have done — strike.

Two pieces of news cast new light on the finances of international soccer and the U.S. women’s team. First, from Brad Polumbo:

The United States has the best women’s soccer team in the world, as evidenced by our recent Women’s World Cup win. But we’re told that the women’s team still faces blatant sexism and a pay gap compared to our men’s team.

That’s what woke feminists like USWNT Captain Megan Rapinoe keep telling us. In fact, the women’s team has even filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender-based pay discrimination. I’ve already made the argument against equal pay and explained why Rapinoe is far from a good role model, but a new open letter and fact sheet released by U.S. Soccer completely refutes the equal pay crusaders’ argument.

First, it reveals that while U.S. Soccer is the target of the USWNT’s equal pay lawsuit, they’re not even the ones paying the men and women unequally. According to U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro, they actually pay the women more than the men. He writes:

Over the past decade, U.S. Soccer has paid our Women’s National Team more than our Men’s National Team. From 2010 through 2018, U.S. Soccer paid our women $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses and we paid our men $26.4 million—not counting the significant additional value of various benefits that our women’s players receive but which our men do not.

How’s that for sexist? Cordeiro explains that this pay gap — in favor of the women — is due to different pay structures the men and women have negotiated, as the women’s team is given an annual salary and benefits while the men are paid more sporadically, proportional to participation. This disparity is necessary because the men have more professional soccer opportunities outside of international competition, such as the leagues in Europe and Major League Soccer. National soccer is a side gig for them, not a full-time job.

Now, it is true that the men’s World Cup offers significantly higher prize money, and that when prize money is counted, the men received $41 million from 2010 to 2018 and the women received just $39.7 million despite vastly outperforming the men relative to their own competition. And more generally, the winning team in the last men’s World Cup received $38 million in prize money, while the winners of this year’s Women’s World Cup get a relatively modest $4 million.

But this is up to the International Federation of Association Football, not U.S. Soccer, which means the “equal pay” lawsuit hasn’t even been filed against the right entity. Moreover, the differential in prize money offered by FIFA is explained by differences in revenue generation and viewership, not sexism.

As I wrote before:

Almost half the world watched the men’s 2018 World Cup, with nearly 3.6 billion total viewers tuning in to watch some part of the tournament. The final match alone reached an audience of over 1.1 billion people. Subsequently, the tournament’s sponsor, FIFA, brought in a profit of over $6 billion.
The women’s team garners significant but substantially lower viewership. We don’t have data for the 2019 tournament, but during the women’s last World Cup in 2015, 764 million viewers tuned in for some portion of the tournament. This is quite good, but it still pales in comparison to the men’s tournament’s audience.Unsurprisingly, Cordeiro’s letter explains, “We look forward to the day when Americans choose to spend their time and money equally between women’s and men’s soccer.” But as the U.S. Soccer fact sheet makes clear, today is not that day, and the pay structures reflect that reality.

But Cordeiro wasn’t done. David Hookstead:

U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro hit back hard at the women’s national team over equal pay.

With the World Cup in the news after we won the whole thing, the issue of pay between the men’s and women’s national teams has once again been a hot topic for debate. A lawsuit is currently underway over the pay disparities between the two teams. The issue at the core is simple. The women are more successful, but women’s soccer doesn’t generate the same kind of cash the men do.

Now, Cordeiro is claiming they actually lose money.

According to TMZ Sports, Cordeiro released a statement on Monday saying the following in part:

From 2009 through 2019 — a timeframe that includes two Women’s World Cup championships — the Women’s National Team has earned gross revenue of $101.3 million over 238 games, for an average of $425,446 per game, and the Men’s National Team has earned gross revenue of $185.7 million over 191 games, for an average of $972,147 per game. More specifically, WNT games have generated a net profit (ticket revenues minus event expenses) in only two years (2016 and 2017). Across the entire 11-year period, WNT games generated a net loss of $27.5 million.

U.S. Women’s National Team spokesperson Molly Levinson responded in part by calling the numbers “false” and the statement from Cordeiro a “ruse.” She also said the women’s team wants to “be paid equally for equal performance.”

If the women’s national team has actually lost money since 2009, then I don’t even know why we’re having this debate. Sports leagues and teams aren’t paid simply by how much they win.

They’re paid in large part by revenue generated. It’s why the worst NBA team still makes much more money than the best team in the WNBA.

It’s called economics, and it’s really not that difficult to figure out.

If the numbers are false, then that’s a different story. Luckily, that seems like that something that would be very easy to fact check.

I have no idea how this lawsuit will end, but I find there to be next to no outcome where it turns out the women generate more revenue than the men historically.

The women should try to get as much money as possible, but they’re only ever going to get cash as it’s tied to revenue.

Anybody who doesn’t understand that fact just doesn’t understand sports.

Or business. Of course, liberals have a well-known hatred of markets.

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