Despite playing the same sport, female footballers are paid less than their male counterparts. Some may argue that this is a gender pay gap caused by gender inequality.
Others may argue that male footballers are so much better than female footballers that the pay disparity is worthwhile. Or that because men’s football is more popular, female footballers cannot earn as much. Mostly because the audience is insufficient, the latter is most likely correct, but when looking closely at the sport, there are also elements of inequality.
Why do Female Footballers Earn Less?
Last season, the average Women’s Super League attendance was 965. This translates to only 2.53% of the Premier League’s 38,168 average (despite the fact that the average WSL ticket costs were one-sixth of the average PL ticket), which is lower than non-league South Shields, Scarborough Athletic, and Weymouth in England’s seventh division. Women’s football simply does not attract the same number of fans as men’s football. This makes it difficult for clubs to generate revenue and pay high wages to their players.
factors behind this inequality:
Despite a record 11,700,000 people in the UK tuned into England’s 2-1 loss to the USA in the World Cup semi-final, televised women’s football is far less popular than men’s. 26,500,000 people tuned into the 2018 World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia.
the incomparable viewing demand:
The difference is significant. In terms of club football as WSL matches average 57,000 viewers, which is 937,000 fewer than Premier League matches, and are transmitted on the same channel. The Premier League is broadcast in 156 countries worldwide, reaching a potential TV audience of 4.2 billion people, which is simply incomparable to the current viewing demand for women’s football.
Supporters, broadcasting, and competition winnings are the main sources of income for a football club. All of this is largely determined by the club’s popularity. And how many people want to watch the game, whether in the stadium or on television?
How much less do Female Footballers Earn?
A salary survey was conducted by Sporting Intelligence in 2017 indicated that the average basic annual first-team salary in the Premier League was 9,868% higher, according to a study that looked only at footballers’ basic wages (excluding sponsorships and international team funds).
Then there’s the Women’s Super League, England’s top-flight women’s league. Lionel Messi earned a total of €130,000,000 in 2018. Ada Hegerberg, the female Ballon d’Or winner that year, received only €400,000.
The Women’s Super League
The Women’s Super League (WSL) debuted as a professional league in 2018. Previously, players worked other jobs in addition to football and played part-time. This is not uncommon at all, and if you watch the World Cup, you should look for professional players.
Aside from the USA team, the England team, and the best players from other European nations, the majority of players make very little money and will almost certainly get another job that pays more. FIFPro, the World Footballers’ Association, surveyed 3,600 footballers who played in both a top division and a lower division in 2017 as well as their national teams.
According to the findings, only 18% consider themselves to be professionals. 76% said they combine football activities with studies and side jobs, highlighting how difficult it is for women to make a living from football.
Liverpool Women’s Team
Despite dominating the Premier League and winning the Champions League the previous season, Liverpool Women were relegated, meaning they will play in the Women’s Championship in the 2020/21 season.
The club has been chastised for this because it has made very little investment, resulting in poor training and playing facilities, resulting in many postponed games and attracting lower-level players.
Olympique Lyon Women’s Team
In contrast, Lyon has made significant investments in their women’s team. They have now won four Champions Leagues in a row and have a team that includes some of the best players in the world. According to Aulas, the Women’s team “almost breaks even and allows OL to win titles while also gaining a significant international reputation.”
Not a bad investment for a football team and many others will most likely follow suit. Advertising and broadcast revenue is expected to increase further in the coming years.
How much do International Female Footballers earn? (compared to Male Footballers)
We know footballers are paid by their clubs, some of whom pay exorbitant weekly salaries, but are they paid for representing their country? England men’s team players are paid an appearance fee of around £2000-£3000. However, England players have donated this money to the England Footballers Foundation since 2007, which has distributed over £5 million to charities.
England players, on the other hand, receive a bonus for winning competitions, though this is not money that has been paid out in recent years. The good news about English football is that female footballers earn the same as male footballers.
brazil & others:
Brazil, like Australia, Norway, and New Zealand, does this. However, the disparities in FIFA payouts are enormous. You could argue that the men’s game is watched by more people and thus generates more revenue, but this is not always true in every country.
The Inequality between Male & Female Wages
The USA national team has been vocal about the inequality between the men’s and women’s international football teams and has even taken legal action. The United States women’s team has won three World Championships and is currently the best international women’s team in the world.
When compared to the men’s team, which had never made a significant impact in the tournament (except in 1930, when they finished third), they appear to have no chance of winning the trophy anytime soon. Despite this, the team and players are paid half as much as the women’s team.
The USSF (United States Soccer Federation) admitted that it pays female player employees less than male player employees and has claimed that market realities do not warrant equal pay for men and women.
Despite this, the women’s team made more money, played more games, won more games, won more championships, and had higher television audiences more often than not in previous years. As a result, this can only point to gender discrimination.
Some players prove that football is not all about finances. Ada Hegerberg, who has since been injured, refused to play for her country in 2018. She retired from playing for Norway in 2017 and even missed a World Cup due to the discrimination she experienced while on the team and the conditions under which they must compete.
Norway committed to playing the same number of male and female players, but Hegerberg continues to refuse to play. This is because the women’s team’s facilities, including the attitude toward them and the conditions under which they must play, are, in Hegerberg’s opinion, still inferior to the men’s game.
what do women footballers actually want?
When it comes to female footballer earnings, the inequality debate is complicated. Of course, the demand for watching club football, stadium attendance, and global following between games is incomparable at the moment, implying that football teams could never match the pay of their male counterparts. However, the majority of female footballers are not asking for this.
equal financial treatment on international stages?
Instead, the female game wants equal pay for international games, especially since the women’s team performs better and generates comparable revenue. However, the most compelling argument is that women’s football simply does not receive adequate funding to thrive. With proper investment in training facilities, both from football clubs and international institutions, the women’s game would have much more room to grow.
Toni Duggan, the striker for England’s women’s national team, also mentioned this. “Equality for me is having a pitch to play on and hot showers in the locker rooms before we talk about money.” Despite being the same sport, the women’s game is distinct from the men’s, so surely the best players in the game should be provided with top-of-the-line facilities, especially given the money available in the game.
It’s truly tragic that the gender equality debate is gaining steam so late in human history! But that’s a discussion for another time and place. Women’s football is becoming more intense and in high demand in the beautiful game with each passing day!
Recently, the Barcelona Femeni drew nearly 100,000 fans to Camp Nou for their UWCL match. When compared to the sleek attention paid to women’s sports in the past, this is no ordinary accomplishment.
All of this translates to financial payouts for female athletes, which we have discussed in depth today. We hope you found it useful. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us! Goodbye, Friends!
Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats
Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.
Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.
What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.