Sports & Politics
"Women want a total package"
There are still not many people involved in contracts in the field of women's soccer. The smart sports manager Dr. Tim Nebelung has specialised with 11friends in advising female players. And? More and more female players seek his help, because the sport is moving forward. Style PASS online editor Eva Britsch spoke to him about his work.
Style PASS online: Who negotiates better: men or women?
Dr. Tim Nebelung: That is a matter of character and cannot be answered like that.
Style PASS online: You have already conducted transfers and contract negotiations in men's soccer - are there differences between women and men in how they approach contracts, jobs and their professional advancement?
Women are generally more interested in a "total package" consisting of financial and sports perspective and this combined with a professional perspective such as studies, training etc. The latter is of no interest to men in negotiations - except in youth soccer.
Style PASS online: Still - at least in Germany - women's soccer earns far less than men's football - what is the reason?
This has two reasons: On the one hand, the media presence of women's soccer, on the other hand the number of spectators in the stadium. If there are 400 spectators in the stadium for a Bundesliga match in women's soccer, then that is the same as for an Oberliga or regional league match in men's soccer. Why then should women earn as much as men in the Bundesliga, where 40,000 people sit in the stands and in the evening the game is shown in the "Sportschau" and broadcast live?
Style PASS online: Are there any possible solutions?
This is where the DFB or all sponsors and supporters of women's soccer have to take action. A media presence for women's soccer is necessary - and not only on the Internet via stream. It needs a format like the "Sportschau". One hour "Sportschau Women's Soccer". People - young and old alike - would see this and think: "Gee, I'd like to be there live ...“ This process must be stimulated. This is already happening in England and France. Saturday evening 19:30. Prime time. And then a top channel like Canal+ will broadcast 45 minutes of summary, interviews only on women's soccer. To keep up and keep our league attractive and strong, I think there is no way around such a process. This would then also lead to higher salaries, as more sponsors, viewers and TV money are in the pot.
Style PASS online: There are still stumbling blocks?
Debates in many other nations show, however, that women's soccer is becoming more and more prominent. The Brazilian Soccer Association, for example, announced last week that it intends to pay women national players the same bonuses as men. And the English Soccer Association has also followed suit. These are all positive examples that other nations should follow.
Style PASS online: What about advertising partners for the players supported by 11Friends? Which brands are women's soccer fans?
There are quite a few. While in the men's sector it is of no interest to most players whether they receive e.g. 1000 Euro for a post, this is of course different for the women. Since it is simply different in relation to the salary. That's why we have various advertising partners for our players - in addition to the classics of the sports equipment suppliers. Especially in the area of sports nutrition and regeneration many (young) brands are interested in our players. Often the brands also grow with the media coverage that the players have as brand ambassadors. This creates a win-win situation for both sides. In addition, jewellery, fashion and lifestyle companies are coming to us again and again - brands or products that girls and young women like to wear in their free time. Often a domino effect is created. One player wears a shirt, watch or bracelet and her fellow players are interested in it and share the experience with the brand on their social media channels. This is of course worth its weight in gold for the advertising partners.
Style PASS online: What do professional women soccers have to pay particular attention to when signing contracts and transfers?
That the contract is dynamic in terms of salary, that it leaves freedom for a transfer, but still offers sufficient security. Contract length and dynamics are the most important.
Style PASS online: Finished school in Germany, then off to France or the USA. Do German players like to move abroad?
There is a transfer of a female player to the USA or to college soccer. However, transfers abroad are more interesting if you are an experienced Bundesliga or national team player. Because then it's possible to gain experience abroad as a full professional - and I know quite a few players who want to do that.
Style PASS online: As is well known, those who are successful have many friends. Do you also advise the players with regard to their social environment?
No, I don't interfere with them - unless it would impair their sporting performance. But I have never experienced that. But as 11friends, as our name suggests, we attach great importance to a good, friendly relationship with our players. That is very important to us.
Style PASS online: Women soccers usually go to work while playing or student/do an apprenticeship. What is your position on this double burden in the German Women's soccer? Or is it much more clever of women to play in multiple tracks?
In any case, a proper school-leaving certificate is necessary to have all options for later on. At the moment, it also makes sense to continue to work, study or do an apprenticeship afterwards. But I predict that there will soon be many clubs that expect full profits from their players. All that would then remain would be distance learning.
Many thanks for the interview!