How much are women's footballers paid?

How much are women's footballers paid?
Sam Kerr is thought to be one of the best paid women's footballers in the WSL (Image credit: Getty Images)

The question of how much are women's footballers paid varies massively depending on what league they play in and what club they play for. 

Many top flight women's leagues across the world are now professional, but what that amounts to in salary can vary significantly. 

In the Women's Super League in England, the average women's footballer salary is thought to be around £30,000. Starting salaries are supposedly around £20,000 and in the past, there have been reports of WSL players holding onto second jobs to supplement their income. Despite the league being professional in name, the reality for players at smaller clubs is that they are unlikely to earn that much money.

Bigger names in the league, however, can earn a lot more. It is thought that the highest women's footballer salary in the WSL extends to around £200,000, which is reportedly earned by players like Sam Kerr. 

Players' salaries are also supplemented by earnings from national teams with a number of countries now paying their men's and women's teams the same amount. Brazil, Australia and Norway are just some of the countries who have joined England in paying both sides the same. England players are thought to earn around £2000 a match with many players from both squads donating their match fees to charity.

In the USA, there is a strict salary cap in place. The WSL technically has one as well but it is relatively soft, set at 40% of turnover. In the NWSL, however, players must be paid a minimum of $22,000 but the maximum salary is $52,500. Their income can be supplemented with healthcare, housing and transport allowances. 

Confusingly, teams can also top up player salaries from a pot of allocation money, worth $400,000, or have their players be paid by the US Women's National Team. The NWSL salary cap has often been criticised for being confusing and leading to large inequalities in player salaries within teams. 

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Jessy Parker Humphreys is a freelance women's football writer. A Chelsea fan, Jessy has been following the women's game since being taken to the 2003/04 FA Cup final at Loftus Road and seeing Arsenal thrash Jessy's local side Charlton. Fortunately, Arsenal don't win quite as much as they used to – although Jessy hopes Charlton will also be back at the top of the women's game one day.