After two cancelled matches, UEFA sanctions and a lot of uncertainty the Danish women’s team – recent Euro 2017 runners-up – as well as the men’s U-21 team finally have a new deal to last the next four years.
The finer points
In negotiations for 12 months, the Spillerforeningen (the players association) and Dansk Boldspil-Union (Danish football federation) finally reached a new agreement to run through to 31 August 2021 for the women’s senior team and men’s U-21s.
A dispute about more than just being paid more but setting up more investment to flow into the women’s game and make it more accessible including scholarships and such as well and importantly getting to the bottom of the employer/employee situation. The new deal includes:
- An increase investment to 2M DKK (£240,000) per year
- An increase in the investment for fees and scholarships for the women’s team by 180%
- A total annual payment to the players in the team of 4.4M DKK (£530,000), scholarships and bonuses amounting to 2.8M DKK (£337,000) with 1.1M DKK (£132,000) in sponsorships and 0.5M DKK (£60,000) in insurance payments (any bonuses accrued for qualifying for and participating in tournaments not included)
- Establishing a new “legacy fund” that will provide more funds to the players making for better development opportunities
- More flexibility with commercial partners for the women’s team with a view to attracting more partners and again increase the development for players
- Increased investment in the set-up for the women’s team of 320,000DKK (£38,500) per year (with the same amount going to the men’s U-21s)
- More transparency about the insurance of players
- Firmer rules about the cooperation between Spillerforeningen and DBU so that the meetings don’t affect match preparations for the team
- Managing the employer-employee situation
A good deal for all
Spillerforeningen director Mads Øland spoke to Spillerforeningen.dk about the new deal saying he was “pleased” that there is a new deal in place, heralding the “significate” improvement to the women’s team, glad that is means the players will “get better opportunities to optimise” their footballing lives. The new deal one that will optimise how players combine national team duty with playing for their clubs and going about their day-to-day lives away from football.
DBU’s elitechef, Kim Hallberg was as glad of the new deal, satisfied with the new deal and the increase in funds to help the development of women’s football in Denmark over the next four years. Also pleased that the new deal has clearer rules about future deal talks, and will make for “better cooperation and eliminate confusion.”
Following on from Denmark’s cancelled World Cup 2019 qualifier against Sweden last month, a UEFA council convened on the 16 November and ruled that the Denmark team would not be ejected from qualification (as many feared). The ruling went on to state that the cancelled match would be awarded to Sweden as a 3-0 win with DBU fined €20,000 (£18,000 / 150,000 DKK) and that Denmark would be ruled out of any UEFA tournament if they cancel another match in the next four years.
Whilst there are many who see this punishment as a harsh one – the win swinging Group 4 in Sweden’s favour – there as many in Denmark who see it as getting off lightly (including VAVEL writer Katja Kragelund). Whilst Sweden have claimed top spot in the qualifying group (with only the top qualifier from each group automatically awarded a place at the 2019 World Cup with the four highest second-place finishers going into a play-off for the remaining berth), Denmark still have a good enough chance of finishing top with a win over their Scandinavian cousins in Viborg next September.
The sigh of relief you all just heard was me. I've said it before, but I would have taken this in a heartbeat if I had been offered this a week ago. I was sure we would be kicked out. https://t.co/KJHiBPj9bX
— Katja Kragelund (@applessquabble) November 16, 2017
The nature of the cancellation and strike undoubtedly playing a part in the ruling, but in black and white terms, the Danish team could have resolved another temporary deal as not to see the match cancelled – for this, many were expecting the harshest possible punishment. Whilst Denmark are free to continue their bid for the World Cup (and subsequent Olympics) the SvFF (Swedish football association) are considering appealing the decision. Women’s football director at the SvFF, Marika Domanski Lyfors has stated the it was a “most surprising decision,” saying the SvFF will ask UEFA how they reached their decision and will consider appealing for harsher sanctions.
All figures in GBP are approximate at the time of conversion.
All quotes and information taken from the Spillerforeningen website.