Saturday 19 August 2023, 04:00

Setting The Pace – FIFA Women’s Football Benchmarking Report

  • Third edition of "Setting the Pace", FIFA’s global benchmarking report on women’s football provides global insights into the elite women’s football landscape

  • Increased professionalisation of the game has clearly contributed to a more successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ both on and off the pitch

  • Key highlights of this report showcase the significant growth and development in women’s football across all six confederations

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. The timing of the report's release coincides with FIFA’s Women’s Football Convention held in Sydney/Gadigal on 18 and 19 August 2023, as the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, the biggest women’s single-sporting event in the world, comes to its thrilling conclusion. With the tournament captivating global audiences, FIFA aims to leverage the excitement and momentum surrounding the tournament to shine a spotlight on the crucial insights offered by "Setting the Pace".

Players of AS FAR with the CAF Women's Champions League trophy

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), reflecting the increased professionalisation of leagues globally. 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 report also serves as an invaluable resource for all stakeholders engaged in the sport. FIFA remains committed to empowering stakeholders with data-driven knowledge, ensuring that women’s football continues to thrive and sets new benchmarks for excellence. The third edition of "Setting the Pace", compiled with the support of the Deloitte Sports Group, features vital insights across five key areas: Sporting, Governance, Finance, Fan Engagement, and Players.

AS Academy Feminine players with OFC Women’s Champions League after beating Koloale

Ten notable highlights include:

  • 62% 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.

  • Around 70% of clubs had academies that include girls, with an average number of 78 girls in each academy.

  • 79% 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).

  • 65% of clubs and 56% of leagues have staff members overseeing safeguarding matters and policies. It is hoped that this will increase further, as a matter of significant importance for welfare in the game.

  • 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.

  • 35% 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.

  • 76% of clubs provide some form of support for players pursuing or sustaining dual careers. Of those that provide this support, the most common forms were flexible training schedules, the provision of access to courses and upskilling opportunities, as well as providing job placements and networking opportunities.