A Fifpro survey reveals that the women’s game is still in a delicate state, with many leaving before they reach their prime.
According to the Guardian‘s report, 69% of players are between 18 and 23. They also state that 90% of female footballers have considered quitting the game. Clearly those aren’t considerations aren’t baseless, if only 31% make it past their 23rd birthday.
Players in England have contracts with an average length of 21 months, which is nine months above the global average. However, it’s still significantly below the men’s game. When was the last time you saw the Arsenal men sign a player on a permanent deal lasting two years? Even worse, 47% of players surveyed had no contract at all.
Of course, a much more commonly publicised disparity is that of the wage gap. The survey revealed 50% of players aren’t paid at all, and two-thirds earn under £450 a month. There’s no comparison to the men’s game there.
30% say they work alongside football, which must prevent them from reaching their full potential. They need to be free to train every day and travel all over the country.
Finance and wanting to start a family are the two biggest reasons for women leaving the game. So clearly clubs don’t sufficiently support them in either regard. Players need more backing at a base level, or the game won’t have foundations to build upon.
Overall there’s a lot for the FA to work on, even if they are ahead of the global average. Hopefully the fully professional top flight and semi-professional tier two plans will help. But that’s only a first step.