We all know that Manchester City’s male players get paid a lot of money.
It was reported that when Erling Haaland joined the club in 2022 he signed a 5-year contract that would pay him £375,000 a week.
Kevin DeBruyne is reputedly on even more at £400,000 a week.
But how do their female counterparts fare?
How much do Manchester City women’s players earn?
Let’s take a closer look…
How Much Do Manchester City Ladies Get Paid?
Manchester City is one of the few teams to release wage details for its women’s team. For the 2020-21 season, the wage bill for the 44-strong squad (that number includes both players and staff), was £3.3million. That averages out at £75,000 per person. However not all players will be on the same salary and we can estimate the club’s top-earning female players would be approaching around £250,000 per year or maybe more.
Before we look at the salaries of Manchester City Ladies, it is important to first get an understanding of how women’s football in England has progressed over recent decades.
Te game in England has risen massively in popularity, particularly following the success of the England Women’s team at the 2022 European Championships.
But it hasn’t always been like that.
The Women’s Super League
It wasn’t until 1991 that a structured pyramid was introduced to women’s football in England with the creation of the Women’s Premier League National Division.
And it wasn’t until 1998 that the England Women’s National Team had a full-time manager when Hope Powell was appointed.
And upon creation of the Women’s Premier League National Division, all teams were part-time.
In fact, it was estimated that female players at top clubs in England at this time were earning at the most around £100 per game.
And Aston Villa Women’s Team current manager Carla Ward has admitted she earned just £50 a game when she was playing women’s football, in a career that spanned from 2004 to 2018.
In 2010 the Women’s Super League (WSL) was established and became the top level of female football in England.
By this time the status of women’s football in England was slowly rising.
In 2009 the national team finished as runners-up in the European Championships, and in 2015 and 2019 reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The WSL has now developed to the extent that all 12 teams competing are fully professional but, as we will find out shortly, they are nowhere near at the same level as male players when it comes to salaries.
Manchester City Women’s Team
Manchester City Women’s Team has actually been around since 1988.
In fact, Manchester City was one of the first league clubs in the North of England to have an affiliated women’s team.
In the early 90s, as the club’s men’s team struggled, it meant its support for the women’s team was reduced.
However, despite this, as the 90s drew to a close the women’s team began to thrive.
In 1998 they won the North West Women’s Regional Football League Division Two.
The following year they were runners-up in the North West Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division, before winning it in the 1999-2000 season.
They then won the Northern Combination Women’s Football League, which meant they were promoted to the second tier of women’s football, the WPL Northern League, for the first time for the 2001-02 season.
The team stayed in the division for the next seven seasons, although they never finished outside of the bottom half.
In 2014, amidst some controversy, Manchester City Women’s Team was given direct entry to the top division of the WSL.
This was when the club really began investing in its female team, signing the likes of England internationals Steph Houghton, Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott.
Since 2014, Manchester City Ladies Team has won the WSL once and finished as runners-up on a further six occasions.
They have also won the Women’s FA Cup three times and finished as runners-up once, and the Women’s League Cup four times and finished as runners-up once.
In fact, as of 2022, the team has not finished outside of the top 3 in the WSL since 2014.
But I know what you all want to know…
How Much Do Manchester City Women’s Players Earn?
Analysing the salaries of female players in the WSL is not as easy as doing the same thing for male players in the Premier League.
Not all WSL clubs release wage details.
However, luckily for us, Manchester City Women are one of those that do!
The most recent accounts that are available are for the 2020-21 season.
These show that Manchester City Women’s Team had a wage bill of £3.3m for that period, and they employed 44 members of staff for the women’s team. This includes the coaching staff as well as the players.
That averages out at £75,000 per player per year.
However, as in the men’s game, not all players and staff will be on the same salary.
Manchester City are said to be one of the most generous clubs in the WSL, and they have the highest wage bill of all WSL clubs that have released details
It is thought only Chelsea, who have not released financial details for its women’s team, have a higher wage bill.
And it is rumoured that the Australian striker Sam Kerr, who joined Chelsea in 2020 from Chicago Red Stars, is the highest-paid player in the WSL on around £400,000 per year (or around £7,500 a week).
Here are some other facts and figures we can glean about women’s football from this excellent report in the Daily Telegraph:
- Some WSL players earned little over £20,000 a year in 2019/20.
- Lyon are one of the top payers in Europe, with several players earning over £400,000 per year.
- The WSLs top paid player is Sam Kerr on around £400,000 per year.
- Tottenham women’s players average around £27,000 per year for 2020/21.
- Both Everton and Manchester United quoted salaries of ‘between £50,000 and £90,000 per year’ for their female players.
- Wage bill comparisons: Manchester City £3.3m per year, Brighton £1.1millon, Liverpool £807k
I think what we can say is that whilst salaries in the WSL still pale into insignificance compared to the men’s game they are definitely improving from the £50 to £100 per week the top female players received 20 years ago.
For instance, a report in 2015 said that Manchester City’s Steph Houghton was the WSLs top paid player on £65,000 per year.
The same report detailed female players earning as little as £50 per week in the WSL.
Both of these figures have now changed, with the WSL becoming fully professional and Sam Kerr the top earning player on around £400,000 per year.
Manchester City’s financial figures show an average wage of £75,000 per year for all of its 44 staff/players that are part of its women’s team.
However bearing in mind that not everyone will be earning the exact same salary I think it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that Manchester City’s top-paid female players will definitely be earning in excess of £200,000 per year, possibly over £250,000 per year and maybe even over £300,000 per year.
As you can see there is a massive gulf between male and female footballers, however more money is definitely being drawn into the women’s game in England and salaries are on the increase.
This is shown most notably by the fact the top-earning player in the WSL in 2015 earned around £65,000 per year but is now thought to earn over £400,000 per year.
As for Manchester City’s female players, much like the men’s team, they are some of the top earners in the country.
However whilst De Bruyne and Haaland are thought to be earning around £400,000 a week, the best-paid Manchester City Ladies players are estimated to earn around £250,000 per year (or around £5,000 per week).
Quite a significant difference!