26.07.2022 | 4 minutes estimated reading time | Print this article

Financial analysis: ‘Women’s World Cup: this is how big the gender pay gap is in professional soccer’

Women’s European Cup 2022: this is how big the gender pay gap is in professional soccer

The UEFA Women’s European Football Championship has officially begun. Good news for the Lionesses: since January 2020, they received as much money from commercial activities as the men. A great step in the right direction of course.

Does this mean that the gender pay gap among England professional footballers has finally been closed? Unfortunately, no. Savings platform Raisin UK delved into the salaries of the lionesses and compared them with the earnings of the England men’s team. Our conclusion? Football clubs worldwide still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equal wages.

Many Brits will have been glued to the television or will probably make a trip to see the Lionesses play (and may we add win) matches. Women’s football may not draw as many viewers as men’s football, but it is certainly becoming more popular.

In 2020, the Football Association announced they would be paying the England women’s football team the same amount as the men’s team per game. They said: “The FA pays its women’s players exactly the same as their male counterparts for representing England, both in terms of match fees and match bonuses,” “This parity has been in place since January 2020.” It has previously been reported that the men’s football team get paid £2,000 per game, which is usually donated to charity, so we can imagine that is what the women’s team will roughly earn.

But that’s not all, the FA is set to pay out £55,000 to each player as a bonus. As well as this, all countries are set to receive a minimum payout of £514,000, while the rest of the prize money is given out based on the performance of the team and how far they get. Therefore, it has been predicted that if the Lionesses win the tournament and all their group games, they could bag around £1.8m. The total prize money for all of the teams at the Euro 2002 totals £13.7million.

While again this may seem like a lot of money, it’s significantly less than the prize money for the men’s 2020 Euros played across the continent last year. Then, the men’s total prize money was 23 times more than the women’s prize money this year, racking up to a total of £317million.

Despite the fact that equal pay per game is a good step towards the goal, we are still far from there. Besides the prize money, the big difference lies in the wages that footballers receive from their clubs. Savings platform Raisin UK therefore analysed the salaries of the highest paid players of the England national team and the highest paid women’s national team.

Raheem Sterling vs. Lucy Bronze: Pay gap of £100k

Raheem Sterling is fast becoming one of the most highly-regarded players in the game, with fans all over the world closely watching his prowess. Sterling, who plays for Manchester City and England, is actually the highest-paid of the whole squad, netting himself £300,000 a week.

Defender Lucy Bronze is widely regarded as one of the best players that grass roots football in the UK has ever produced – and was named FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year 2020. Even being one of the best female footballers, she only takes home £200,000 a year from club football!

There are several reasons why male professional footballers earn more than female professional footballers. For example, men’s football is at the moment still much more popular than women’s football. Among other things, advertisers and sponsors also contribute to the popularity of matches and clubs. Because of these collaborations, teams, as well as UEFA and FIFA, earn more from matches and commercial activities, and salaries and prize money can go up.

Still, the prize money of the women vs. the men is not proportional to the number of viewers. By comparison, just over three times as many fans watched the 2018 Men’s World Cup than watched the Women’s World Cup a year later. Yet the men pocketed nearly fifteen times as much in prize money.

Salaries will only continue to rise as women’s football attracts more viewers, we forecast and hope the popularity to be equal for women and men one day, as we do on the salaries they receive. So make sure you are ready to cheer on our lionesses. They deserve it.