The FIFA Global Transfer Market has revealed that there has been a significant increase in the value of player transfers – and transfers as a whole – in the women’s game between 2018 and 2019.
Increased hype around women’s football largely stemmed from the growing interest in last year’s Women’s World Cup, which drew a record-breaking 28.1 million viewers in the UK, obliterating the figures from the previous tournament in 2015.
Such heightened interest in the women’s game has helped to result in a bigger clamour to secure the biggest talents across the world, as the figures from FIFA’s report show. All data collected has been analysed for the completed transfers taking place between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2019.
During that time, Chelsea have signed Australian superstar Sam Kerr, while Nikita Parris departed Manchester City for European champions Lyon.
One of the key findings reads: “In 2019, clubs around the world completed 833 international transfers. This represents a 19.7% increase from the previous year. Overall, 757 professional players were involved in these transfers (+23.3%), representing 81 different nationalities (+12.5%).”
While the numbers show a significant hike in transfer fees, the vast majority of transfers involved players who were out of contract – which accounted for 86.3% of all transfers in 2019. Of all the transfers, 3.5% were agreements between two clubs, with the rest made up of various loan deals.
Over the course of 2019, 274 clubs were active on the international transfer, either through signing or releasing a player, marking a large increase of 24.5% from the 220 clubs recorded active in 2018. Of those transfers, the rise in fees paid showcases one of the biggest changes.
In 2019, spending on transfer fees grew by 16.3% compared to 2018. All those transfers considered, the most active federation recognised by FIFA was UEFA, accounting for 188 clubs of the 274 clubs.
Interestingly, of the 757 players involved in the 833 transfers completed in 2019, their average age was 24 years and seven months old – with the youngest player transferred being 16 and the oldest 36. The USA accounted for the overriding majority of the players moved with 159 transfers, while Brazilian and British followed as second and third respectively.