Former Matilda Michelle Heyman has revealed the shocking amount that the players were paid for reaching the 2015 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal.
As the Australian team gets ready for a quarter-final against France in front of a sellout game in Brisbane on Saturday, Heyman told The Project just how far the women’s game has come as FIFA talks about improving prize money for women.
FIFA has pledged to equalise World Cup prize money for their two senior tournaments by 2027.
The Project host Hamish Macdonald asked Heyman, the A-League Women’s all time leading goal scorer, what players were paid at the World Cup eight years ago.
“Michelle, let’s put this all in perspective – 2015 World Cup you got in the quarterfinals after knocking out Brazil. How much did you take home as a result of that tournament?” Macdonald asked on Friday.
“You really want to know?” Heyman said.
“Yes, I really want to know.”
“So the big $750,” Heyman said.
A gobsmacked Macdonald replied “Seriously?”
“Yeah. It wasn’t anything good back then. And it’s nice to see there’s a little bit of change in the last eight years,” Heyman said.
“But yeah, that’s what we all brought home each was the big $750!”
Heyman said she was pumped to see the Matildas doing so well at their home World Cup tournament, where games are sold out and merchandise is selling off the shelves.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has even floated the idea of a public holiday if the Matildas win.
But Heyman said there was still a long way to go for the women’s game despite the success of this tournament, which is being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
“There’s zero equality still within the game. I think we’re getting paid four to five times less than what the men are for the World Cup.
“So it has come a long way in the last eight years since my World Cup. But at the same time, it’s still so, so far away from equality.”
She said the marketing of the women’s game had improved, but she didn’t begrudge the success — and potential financial bonus — the team was experiencing.
“They’re my girls. They’re my team,” she said.
“But I think that you can see the difference within companies jumping on board. Everyone supporting the Matildas. Ten years ago, there was none of that.”