Women's Football

'Setting the Pace' FIFA Benchmarking Report (3rd Edition)


FIFA has unveiled the third edition of 'Setting the Pace', the only global women’s football benchmarking report that offers unparalleled insights into the factors driving success in women's football clubs and leagues worldwide. The publication provides an opportune moment to spotlight the extraordinary growth and development in elite women's football.

This year's edition has been enriched with data from 34 of the top women's football leagues (up from 30 leagues in previous editions). The report boasts participation from 316 clubs, making it a comprehensive analysis with global trends and local statistics across diverse leagues representing the six confederations.

The third edition of "Setting the Pace" features vital insights across five key areas:

  1. Sporting

  2. Governance

  3. Finance

  4. Fan Engagement

  5. Players

Key findings

Of leagues required coaches to hold a Pro or A Licence, and 69% of clubs exceeded these requirements by holding an A Licence or above.

Of clubs had academies that include girls, with an average number of 78 girls in each academy

Of leagues have adopted club licensing systems, up from 66% in the previous edition

Leagues with dedicated commercial strategies reported substantially higher commercial revenues, averaging USD 2.7 million, compared to those without (USD 1.1 million)

Of clubs and 56% of leagues have staff members overseeing safeguarding matters and policies

Average broadcast revenue generated by clubs has surpassed USD 100,000 for the first time

Average attendance across the surveyed leagues grew by around 12% since the previous edition, reaching 1,127 in the 2021-2022 season

Of all clubs offered a women's team season ticket (either for the women’s team only or alongside the affiliated men’s team)


The median player contract length ranged from 1-1.5 years, with 34% having contracts less than 12 months. The average salary paid per player across all clubs increased year-on-year from USD 14,000 to USD 16,825.

Of clubs provide some form of support for players pursuing or sustaining dual careers

MA Participation

FIFA surveyed top-tier women’s football leagues/MAs and their member clubs, asking questions on a range of topics, to provide a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the elite women’s football landscape.

Setting the Pace

The findings of this report are categorised into five sections:


Analysis of leagues and competitions, sporting calendars, use of technology and clubs’ access to facilities and youth systems that contribute to increased on-pitch performance.


Analysis of governance characteristics of leagues and clubs, staffing levels, the prevalence of written women’s football and commercial strategies and the wider commercial arrangements of leagues and their member clubs.

Financial Landscape

Analysis of the operating revenue generated and costs incurred by clubs and leagues, as well as the overall profit/ loss and receipt of subsidies.

Fan Engagement

Analysis of attendance levels on matchdays, use of stadiums, ticket pricing, broadcasting arrangements and use of social media.


Analysis of squad size, level of professionalism, player representation, player contracts, health and well-being, and the wider support offered to players.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Australia players huddle after the team's 1-3 defeat and elimination from the tournament following the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Australia and England at Stadium Australia on August 16, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images )

With millions of women and girls passionately involved in the sport, it is imperative that we strengthen the foundations upon which it stands.

Gianni Infantino, FIFA President

Previous Reports

Setting the Pace: FIFA Benchmarking Report Women’s Football (2nd Edition)

The second edition of the report provides further insights into the factors that drive success in leagues and at clubs. It highlights different regulatory environments, approaches to broadcast rights and sponsorship negotiations.

Setting the Pace: FIFA Benchmarking Report Women’s Football (1st Edition)

In November 2020, FIFA, in collaboration with the Deloitte Sports Business Group, conducted a study on the landscape of women’s football to closely monitor and foster its growth.