England women need to be better rewarded, says defender Bradley

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Women footballers should ask for more money - Sophie Bradley

England's Sophie Bradley says women should be better rewarded amidst a dispute with the Football Association.

The Professional Footballers' Association is in talks with the FA over an increase to the players' central contracts that are currently worth £16,000 a year.

That deal ended in November and ongoing talks saw players go unpaid last month.

"We play for the love of the game, but at the same time you want to be rewarded for doing well," said Bradley.

The 23-year-old defender told BBC Sport she thinks that the players' salaries should increase in line with recent advancements in the women's game.

"I think it's now got to the point where we need to be rewarded because of the amount of people who are interested in watching us play and the progression of the game."

It is understood that negotiations between the PFA and FA centre around the additional 24 hours players are allowed to work each week in addition to players' central contracts and money they receive on a semi-professional basis from their clubs.

But Lincoln centre-back Bradley, who supplements her income by working in a Nottinghamshire care home run by her father, says training demands for club and country mean that few employers will allow players the flexibility they need.

In addition to club training sessions, England players are expected to train twice a day, six days a week in the build-up to the new season starting in March.

The squad will convene for fitness testing at St George's Park on Wednesday this week, before flying to La Manga in Spain on Sunday for a week-long training camp.

"The women [in the England team] don't get paid even half as much, even a quarter as much as the men's team," Bradley said. "We are expected to have a part-time job and even though I live at home, for others with a mortgage, the cost of living is expensive.

"It's really hard so it would be nice to play football full-time. The amount of work we put in, I wouldn't say we get the reward in terms of money."

Bradley added: "All the girls just grin and bear it. We get on with it because we get paid more now than a couple of years ago. Back then we didn't even get a central contract.

"But now it's the next step and time to ask for a bit more to be able to be full-time professional players, to not have to work as much, and just focus on playing football and winning things as a country and at your club."

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