The Australian Diamonds will receive zero prize money for winning the 2023 Netball World Cup.
The national netball team became world champions after defeating England 65-41 in the World Cup Final in Cape Town on August 6, but recent reports show there will be no prize money or bonuses awarded to the team for their efforts.
World Netball, the international netball federation, has a limited financial structure that relies heavily on government and sponsor support.
In a press conference at the conclusion of the World Cup in Cape Town, President of World Netball Dame Liz Nicholl said the sport is rich in people resource and poor in financial resource.
She said the Federation would look to introducing more events to raise the public profile of netball, something the 2023 World Cup has already done, in order to boost finances of the sport.
“This World Cup has the best combination ever of sponsorship and international broadcast sales,” Nicholl said.
“It’s been a real step up for World Netball.”
In the 2019 Netball World Cup, held in Liverpool, UK, prize money was something that wasn’t even “on the table” for players, World Netball CEO Claire Briegal told RNZ.
According to RNZ’s report, teams in the 2019 Netball World Cup had to pay their own way to travel to and from the event.
Rather than using profits from the World Cup as the prize money for the winners, which in 2019 was the New Zealand Silverferns, Briegal said any profits made from the event got divided between World Netball, the host nation and participating countries.
“That seems fairer to us – those smaller countries need the money, more than some of the bigger countries,” Briegal told RNZ at the time.
Although the reports in 2019 on the lack of prize money for the Netball World Cup received significant public scrutiny, it is unclear whether the financial structure of World Netball has changed since then.
According to its most recent Annual Report in 2021, the Federation recorded a deficit before tax of £590,000 (AU$1.15 million) in their financial reporting.
Ann Tod, the finance director of World Netball, said the findings of the report reflect the sport “emerging gradually from the effects of the global pandemic”.
“The Board and management will continue to work hard to identify new sources of income and ensure that all expenditure incurred is spent in pursuit of the goals of the Federation and its members,” Tod said.
The report stated the Federation’s general income came mainly from membership fees, grants and royalties.
Last month, the international soccer federation FIFA revealed the prize money for the Women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia, will be AU$165 million. In the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar, it was more than AU$670 million.
Despite being one of Australia’s biggest team sports, netball is one of the lowest paying professional sports. On average, a professional netball receives AU$75,000 a year.
Women’s Agenda has contacted World Netball and Netball Australia for comment.