According to a report by the FIFA Global Transfer Market Review, the average transfer for women's football last year was just a mere $810. In 2018 clubs spent only $564,354 on a total of 696 transfers.
A reason for the low total spending was that just 3.4% of the transfers made were permanent. As a result only 3.2% of the transfers involved any fee at all. This is in comparison to 15.1% in the men's game. A staggering 619 of the 696 transfers were made out of contract, resulting in no fee being exchanged between clubs.
For example, this is how Barcelona signed Manchester City striker Toni Duggan. However, FIFA appropriate this to the rise in professional women's football across the world. This is because 266 of the transfers made out of contract were players moving from an amateur club to a professional one.
As reported by the FIFA Global Transfer Market Review, UEFA was the busiest confederation as they were responsible for 64.9% of the incoming transfers. In fact 153 out of 220 clubs involved in transfers throughout the year were from UEFA.
Spain had the most clubs involved in a transfer (21), followed by Colombia (17) and then England (16). Following a number of successful international tournaments, England also had the most transferred players in 2018. A total of 33 British players were transferred with the next highest European nationality being Ukraine with 16.
Despite these impressive figures, Britain still sit way behind the USA who were responsible for 144 transfers. The most surprising nation, however, is Venezuela as 67 Venezuelans were moved in 2018; profiting from the continuing growth of the female game in South America.
The average age of a player transferred was 24 years and five months old. However this does not include minors under the age of 18 as FIFA has strict rules regarding their movement. Clubs are permitted from signing anyone under 18 for football reasons alone, despite this, the number of minors transferred in 2018 rose from 221 to 288.
Another area of the female game which differs from the men's is contract length. On average a player signed a 11 month contract following a transfer, 32.8% of transfers resulted in a contract of six months or less. This is compared to an average contract length of 27 months for men's football over the same period of time.
The transfer market review has shown a clear growth in women's football following new investment and renewed interest. Figures relating to permanent transfers, fees spent and contract length are all expected to rise by FIFA who see this as a clear signal of the professionalisation of the female game.