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Women in football: Protection is our game

Wednesday 8th March
Women in football: Protection is our game

As the world celebrates women’s achievement and highlights the need to #EmbraceEquity on International Women’s Day, it’s timely to highlight this pivotal moment in women’s sport. The Lionesses’ victory last year showcased and raised the profile of female sporting talent as millions watched the team’s victory worldwide.

There’s no denying that the popularity of women’s sports has surged to new heights over the last 12 months. Research from the Women’s Sport Trust, with broadcast insight from Futures Sport & Entertainment, has found the average viewing time per person for women’s sports on TV in the UK increased year-on-year by 131 per cent in 2022. These statistics are important because an increased appetite for the women’s game increases the commercial viability of the sport and, therefore, the earning potential of pro female footballers.

#EmbraceEquity: Protecting sportswomen’s income

The number of football tournaments and competitions has undoubtedly increased. FIFA has confirmed plans to introduce a FIFA Women’s Club World Cup to the football calendar and establish a new FIFA Women’s Futsal World Cup. Both competitions mean that women will spend much more time on the pitch. The opportunity to build experience and skill on the field while increasing income presents a fantastic opportunity for footballers, but it also means an increased risk of injury or illness.

Kerry London’s Temporary Total Disablement (TTD) insurance protects against the financial impact of a temporary injury or illness that prevents pro players from participating in the game. TTD insurance cover is a tax-free financial benefit that covers loss of earnings when a player can’t professionally play their sport due to an injury or illness before or during play. The cover is bespoke and based on an individual’s needs.

Kerry London has a long history of working closely with professional sportsmen and women. Their team sports insurance specialists include ex-professional players who have the specialist knowledge to get temporary total disablement insurance in place. Having the right cover in place could provide female footballers with the financial security they need should a career-limiting injury happen at home or abroad.

#EmbraceEquity: Working to eliminate the gender pay gap

For most professional male footballers, signing a contract will provide them with enough income to live on, but unfortunately, this is not the case for women. Professional male footballers often earn weekly six-figure salaries, but the Women’s Super League pays approximately £30,000 annually.

Many members of England’s Lionesses team have second jobs while establishing their football careers on the pitch, so protecting the income they get is vital. England midfielder and I’m a Celebrity winner Jill Scott MBE was sweeping floors in a coffee shop after their sensational Euro 2022 final victory. Financial pressures are an issue as many older players work part-time to supplement their professional football careers and then need to prepare for early sporting retirement.

Ansley Williams, Client Services Director, Kerry London said:

“Protecting income is a priority for professional female footballers who often work two jobs because they earn less than their male counterparts. It’s important they seek solutions to enable them to continue playing the game they love.

The announcement that Wales’s men’s and women’s football teams are getting equal pay is encouraging. The current agreement with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) runs up to the 2026 FIFA men’s World Cup and the women’s tournament a year later.”

Women’s sport: a generation of new fans

There was a unique audience coming to women’s sport in 2022 that weren’t watching any men’s sport:

  • 4 million watched live WSL football in 2022 but did not see any live Premier League football, with 6.8 million watching both. This compares to 5.1 million only watching the WSL in 2021.

  • 8 million watched the Women’s Euros but didn’t watch the men’s FIFA World Cup.

  • 5 million only watched the Women’s Hundred, while 4.8 million consumed both the men’s and women’s formats.

  • 3 million only watched women’s matches at the Rugby League World Cup but didn’t see any men’s matches.

  • * The Telegraph, November 2017

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