Denmark Men 2024

How the Danish men's national team is supporting the women’s side


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Denmark Men 2024
  • Danish player union Spillerforeningen arranged a new agreement for the men’s national team with the Danish Football Association (DBU)

  • The men’s deal includes several equal conditions for the women’s national team

  • The union also arranged that the women’s team and DBU will start negotiations this year instead of 2025

The Danish men’s national team signed a new four-year agreement with the Danish Football Association (DBU) that will come into effect after the upcoming EURO 2024. The players, supported by their union Spillerforeningen, decided to focus on helping arrange equal working conditions for the women’s national team.

"The men’s team chose not to demand any changes in the conditions in their new agreement," said Spillerforeningen Director Michael Sahl Hansen. "It’s an extraordinary step to help improve the conditions of the women’s national teams. So, instead of looking for better conditions for themselves, the players thought about supporting the women’s team."

Before negotiations started, the football association had gone public about its desire to arrange “equal pay” for the men’s and women’s national teams. "However, they communicated that the money that was needed for this operation should come from the men’s team," said Sahl Hansen. "We couldn’t accept that approach. The men’s team was upset, and so was the women’s team, as they felt uncomfortable that the money had to be taken from the men’s team.

Denmark Women 2024
The Danish women's national team

"We didn’t want to talk with the DBU if the only way to give the women more money, would be by deducting it from the men’s team. That's not how you create equality."

The union, together with the men’s team, chose a different approach. The goal was not to lower the conditions and pay for the men’s team to align with the women’s team, but to raise the conditions and pay of the women to the level of the men’s team.

The plan included the following:

  • The men’s players refused a pay raise;
  • The men’s and women’s national team players receive the same basic remuneration for appearing for the national team. This is an appearance fee, and does not include any bonus or premium;
  • An insurance coverage upgrade for the women’s team (plus 50%) and men’s U-21 team (plus 40%) funded by a 15% decrease of the men’s team insurance coverage;
  • The players and the DBU will jointly create a home (“clubhouse”) for all national teams: men, women and youth;
  • A development fund paid for by the men’s team (50 %) and DBU (50%).

The idea behind the development fund is that whenever the players qualify for a future championship such as the World Cup or UEFA EURO, the team and the DBU will both contribute one million Danish kroner (approximately USD 145,000) to a pot meant for improving the team’s conditions.

Denmark Men Training 2024
The men's national team in training ahead of UEFA EURO 2024

Sahl Hansen said: "The players can make suggestions how to use the fund. For example, when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has positive experiences with special facilities or support at Tottenham Hotspur, or Simon Kjaer at AC Milan, then they can propose to help create those facilities or support with the national team."

Sahl Hansen says he had no problem convincing the men’s players. "When we presented the plan to the negotiations team, which consisted of Andreas Christensen, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel, they were very happy.

"This was what they wanted: it showed that they are taking the responsibility. They liked the idea of providing other national teams with better opportunities and conditions."

Michael Sahl Hansen
Michael Sahl Hansen

Sahl Hansen added that in principle the players shouldn’t be the ones taking responsibility for funding provisions such as a development fund, player insurance, or "home" for the players. However, the men’s team showed its extraordinary commitment to advancing Danish football.

"When we explained this plan to the football association, they realised it was a generous offer," said Sahl Hansen. "The negotiations went smoothly and quickly, and we were both happy to sign this agreement before the start of EURO 2024."

Players of the women’s team reacted positively to the men’s deal too. "They are happy that the male players are helping them, however they agree that the money should not come from the men’s team, but from the DBU. They are looking forward to the negotiations with the football association, which are due to start after this year’s summer."