Women's Football Benchmarking Report



It is positive to see that approximately three quarters of leagues feature a majority of professional players, meaning that these players have a written employment contract with a club and are paid more for their footballing activities than the expenses they effectively incur. Clubs are investing in their women’s teams and as the game professionalises further and sporting demands increase, player well-being will need to be a priority.

Of clubs provide some form of support for their players to pursue or sustain dual careers.

Of clubs responded that football was the primary source of income for 50% or more of their players

At the league level

had predominantly professional players (50% or more of total players were professional) that made up the league.

At the club level

had only professional players, whilst 11% were entirely made up of amateurs, meaning the vast majority of clubs had at least one professional player in their first-team squad.


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 leagues have representation from a players’ association or union.


By increasing the number of players who are able to sustain their livelihoods through playing football, players will be able to better focus on the sport. However, if a footballer is to dedicate their time to the game, there needs to be certain security in place and post-career assistance offered to ensure players are supported, once their time on the pitch comes to an end.

Level of professionalisation of clubs (%)
Fully professional clubs28%
Mostly professional (50% or more professional players)34%
Mostly amateur (<50% professional players) 14%
Fully amateur24%
Average training commitments by professionalism of player
Is football the primary source of income for players? YesNo
Average number of training hours per week 14.912.9
On the pitch10.3 9.2
In the gym4.63.7


A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is a contract between an employer and players’ union/association, which agrees terms such as conditions of employment, wages and hours. Of the leagues, 32% had a CBA in place in 2021-2022, and those that did were more likely to have a minimum wage (82%) compared to those without (39%).

Over half of leagues (53%) had minimum wage regulations:

Of leagues had a salary cap

Of leagues had regulations stipulating the minimum number of domestic players

Had regulations on the maximum number of foreign players

Player well-being

As the women’s game professionalises further, and the sporting demands of leagues and competitions increase, clubs and leagues will need to ensure that the well-being of their players is a priority. They will need to offer physical and psychological support, such as through the provision of a club physiotherapist, psychologist and mental-health trained doctors.

Types of dual career support clubs are offering their players (%)

Case Study

As part of its global women’s football strategy, fifa is implementing initiatives and projects to advance the professionalisation of the women’s game on and off the pitch, with player well-being and protection one of the key elements in the journey towards the elite level for clubs, leagues and national teams.


FIFA and FIFPRO collaborated on a joint global research project about multiple job-holding (MJH) in women’s football. The initiative showcased some of the work being conducted related to the development and professionalisation of the game, providing women’s football stakeholders with new insights and enabling the design or enhancement of the support given to players worldwide.

The project engaged in primary research through an anonymous online survey taken by over 700 footballers across 12 countries (Australia, Korea Republic, Botswana, Nigeria, Mexico, the USA, Brazil, Chile, Fiji, Aotearoa New Zealand, England and Sweden).

Both the survey and the interview processes were built considering the players’ job demands (e.g. caregiving obligations, additional jobs), available resources (e.g. time, income) and outcomes (e.g. well-being, burnout or stress).

Global Findings

Some of the global findings are as follows:

- With an average age of 26 years old, over a quarter of participants (26.6%) said that they held a secondary job and 35.6% were undertaking formal education or study. Interestingly, MJH was reported as low as 5.3% (Brazil) and as high as 77.8% (Australia) across different countries.

- 71.5% of surveyed footballers perceived themselves as playing in a professional environment with a remunerated employment football contract. 52.1% of participants stated that their football expenses are greater than their football-related income.

- 77.4% prioritised football over any other responsibilities, such as work, studies or family. In terms of caregiving, 20% said they did have such responsibilities.

- 60% of participants said they currently held a secondary job on a non-permanent contract, which has an impact on time available for their football responsibilities, including rest and recovery from a mental and physical perspective.

- 20% of players had a secondary fulltime job and 23% reported they took unpaid leave to fulfil their football commitments. In total, 49.2% of those with a secondary job were earning less than USD 4,999 per year from it, so it acted as a complementary salary.


In terms of recommendations, the researchers offer four global insights about MJH in women’s football, summarised as follows:

- The need to consider footballers holistically, bearing in mind all the competing demands from MJH, football- and non-football related, and the available financial and non-financial resources that can effectively help players balance their careers and commitments on and off the pitch.

- Be aware and explore ways of adjusting to the workload of players MJH and other football and non-football work demands. It is also important not to assume that players will have less wellness or greater stress due to additional demands, as some can provide eustress.

- The importance of acknowledging that currently many women’s football players need to engage in MJH to sustain their livelihoods or provide caregiving, meaning stakeholders will benefit from supporting the players as it can enable a breadth of football talent to access the sport, and eventually focus on a sustainable football career.

- Be aware that as women’s football advances towards greater professionalisation, there is an impact on the football and non-football careers of current players, depending on their career prioritisation and the specific MJH level.