U.S. women’s soccer coach Vlatko Andonovski made about 72 percent less in his first full year in the position than men’s coach Gregg Berhalter did in the same 12-month period.
Andonovski earned $357,597 in the year ending March 31, 2021, compared with Berhalter’s earnings of $1,291,539, the Associated Press reported. Berhalter was the highest-paid employee in the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
The disclosure of the huge difference in salary between the two coaches comes as the U.S. women’s national team is pushing to receive the same pay as its male counterpart. As of January this year, the men’s and women’s teams have not agreed on a single pay structure, which the USSF proposed in the wake of a March 2019 lawsuit from the women’s team players.
The USSF met jointly with the unions for the men’s and women’s teams in November 2021 and said that it had agreed to extend the negotiation window for a collective bargaining agreement until the end of this March, Newsweek reported.
Andonovski was hired in October 2019 and earned roughly half of the $713,352 made by Jill Ellis, his predecessor, in the year ending March 31, 2020, the AP reported. During that fiscal year, the women’s team won its fourth title at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Contracts for U.S. coaches include large bonuses for World Cup performances, according to the AP.
Ellis also earned more than Andonovski in the fiscal year ending in March 2021. Listed as an ambassador and former key employee, she was paid $413,440 under a contract that ended in March last year, the AP reported.
Federal law does not require the unions for the men’s and women’s teams to reach similar CBAs. But U.S. Soccer Federation President Cindy Parlow Cone wrote in a letter in January that the federation had offered identical contract proposals last September, “with the goal of aligning both teams under a single collective bargaining agreement (CBA) structure.”
Cone wrote that neither union had committed at that point to a single pay structure but said the federation has been “encouraged that they are willing to join us in discussions about that possibility as we continue to negotiate separate CBAs with each for now.”
The letter added, “Additionally, we are still focused on taking the important step of equalizing FIFA World Cup prize money, and will not agree to any collective bargaining agreement that does not include that commitment from the two unions.”
Newsweek reached out to the USSF for comment on the coaches’ salary differences and the contract negotiations but did not hear back by publication time.