|Midfielder Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Anh will wear No. 25 at Thái Nguyên T&T FC. The signing-on bonus Anh and two others have received is a historic first in Việt Nam's women's football. VNS Photo Hoàng Quân|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese football has entered a new chapter as female players receive a signing-on bonus as part of their new contracts for the very first time.
Midfielder Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Anh and defenders Lê Hoài Lương and Trần Thi Kim Anh made history when they signed deals with Thái Nguyên T&T FC on May 27.
Under their contracts, former national player Mỹ Anh will earn VNĐ500 million (US$21,500) over two years with the club, along with a VNĐ30 million ($1,300) per month salary.
Lương will take VNĐ400 million ($17,200) over two years and a VNĐ30 million ($1,300) per month salary. Kim Anh has not revealed her contract details.
The amounts are still far below what their male colleagues received, but it is a milestone in the national football community nonetheless.
The three players were with HCM City FC before becoming free players late last year.
"The salary and compensation are much higher than what I received from my former club. I will try hard to show my best for the new club and hope to be called back to the national team," Mỹ Anh said, adding that her first month's salary will be sent home to support her family.
Mỹ Anh was one of the players in Việt Nam's 2022 Asian Cup finals who qualified for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.
The 28-year-old, who played well in different positions on Mai Đức Chung's team, did not reveal her former salary but it was said around VNĐ15 million ($750) per month, plus bonuses if available.
The first signing-on fee given to female players not only improves their living conditions but is also another step towards professionalisation in women's football in Việt Nam," a statement from Thái Nguyên T&T said.
"Thái Nguyên T&T believe that after many years of hard work and great contributions, women players are finally receiving accurate assessment and recognition like male football stars," the statement said.
"These contracts will be motivation for national women's football training and competing activities. Young players will see a brighter future through this milestone. This is what women's football needs to develop stably."
Hà Thị Thùy is a player of Thái Nguyên T&T. She has been pushed from the U19 side to the first team. Thùy receives VNĐ9 million ($390) per month, which is three times more than in the past when Thái Nguyên was not sponsored.
“Their (Mỹ Anh, Kim Anh and Lương) high salary and signing-on fees are a really good sign for football. It encourages us to train harder and I hope we will have a good contract like them,” Thùy said.
With three new players, Thái Nguyên T&T expect to challenge for the championship title in the next three to five years. Their target for the 2022 season is a top-three finish.
The team managers will also receive a record bonus of VNĐ50 million ($2,150) for a win and VNĐ20 million ($860) for a draw. These are the biggest bonuses for a women's football club in Việt Nam to date.
Last year, they finish fourth in the five-sided tournament. VNS