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Women’s Football Investment Interest On The Rise

Women's England cricket team

Women’s Football Investment Interest On The Rise

FIFA have released the ‘Setting the Pace’ benchmarking report on women’s football that says the marketability of the sport has risen over the last 12 months.

In the report, FIFA analyses 30 leagues and 294 clubs, charting the changes and development that has occurred in elite women’s football since the previous edition of the report released in May 2021.

The report is made in efforts to provide football administrators with tools to inform strategy and decision making.

Key findings in the report include:

  • 90% of leagues having a written strategy, compared to 79% in 2021.
  • Ten leagues indicated they have secured broadcast revenue in 2021, only 9 had in 2020.
  • Leagues have on average nine full-time employees dedicated to the women’s game.
  • 77% of leagues have a title sponsor, up from 66%.
  • Clubs who have a written strategy tend to perform better, 78% of league winners in the past three seasons had them.
  • A record US$2.1 million in transfer fees were paid since the previous report, a 73% increase on 2020.
  • The five largest transfers accounted for almost 60% of transfer spending.
  • 4% or professional transfers involved the payment of a fee, up from 3.5% in 2020.

The results in this report are based on data relating to sporting, governance, financial, player and fan engagement topics in all six of FIFA’s confederations.

Commenting on the report, FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, said: “Clubs are the foundation of our game, and by creating specific tools that paint ann accurate picture of the women’s club landscape, we aim to increase the data available on women’s football and support decision-making processes.”

“With this in mind, we are proud to publish the second edition of Setting the Pace – a document that assesses the reality of the game across key areas, presents emerging challenges and opportunities, and demonstrates our clear commitment to accelerating the growth of women’s football,” he said.

FIFA chief women’s football officer, Sarai Bareman, added: “The data in this year’s report underscores that organisations that are prepared to invest in women’s football are receiving a return, and we expect this will only increase as more clubs and leagues, as well as broadcasters and partners, truly recognise the unique growth opportunity that exists in women’s football.”

“Since the launch of FIFA Women’s Football Strategy in 2018, and in the period since the publication of the first edition of Setting the Pace, We’ve witnessed some significant developments and milestones in women’s football. But there’s so much left to be achieved, and this will occur as we continue to share expertise and best practice, and remain open to regularly and transparently analysing the women’s football landscape,” she said.

The uptick in interest suggested in the report is underpinned by the recent media rights deal for the Women’s Euros where the package value had tripled since the previous tournament.

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