Arsenal and Chelsea see revenues soar in wake of Lionesses' Euros triumph

File photo dated 17-02-2024 of the attendance during the Barclays Women's Super League match against Manchester United. The Emirates Stadium will become the main home for Arsenal's women's team from next season. Issue date: Tuesday May 14, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 PA Media, All Rights Reserved)

The combined revenue of Women's Super League (WSL) clubs soared by 50% following the Lionesses' success at the 2022 European Championships, new research has shown.

Analysis from Deloitte shows revenue increased from £32million in the 2021-22 campaign to a record £48m a year later, with the rise coming in the wake of England's Euros triumph on home soil. A whopping 66 per cent of that £48m was generated by the league’s four most lucrative clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The increase in revenue can partly be attributed to a rise in WSL attendances, with the average attendance in the WSL increasing from 1,923 to 5,616 in 2022-23. Clubs' increasing use of their main stadiums saw cumulative matchday revenues grow to £7m.

Attendances rose again after England reached the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with cumulative attendance across the WSL and Women's Championship in 2023-24 surpassing one million for the first time. Deloitte is forecasting that WSL revenues were above £50m during the 2022/23 campaign, however clubs do not have to publish their financial accounts for the season until next year.

Deloitte’s projected revenue figure for the 2024-25 campaign, the first in which the WSL will be run by independent club-led body NewCo rather than the Football Association (FA), is £68m

READ MORE: Keira Walsh is a luxury transfer Arsenal can't afford to pass on after Barcelona glory days

READ MORE: Arsenal at forefront of ACL epidemic as Victoria Pelova injury offers worrying reminder

"WSL clubs are home to world-class players whose success on the international stage has drawn new fans to the domestic game," said Jenny Haskel, knowledge and insight lead in the Deloitte Sports Business Group.

"The soaring revenue growth achieved demonstrates the strides that have been made. However, we’re still in the foothills of growth in the women’s game."

Commercial revenue for 2022-23 was £17m for WSL clubs however pre-tax losses went up to £21m in 2022-23, from £14m the season before.

"Many women’s clubs continue to rely on financial contributions from their wider group structure," said Tim Bridge, lead partner in the Deloitte Sports Business Group.

"However, this is not a new revelation in football where many owners prop up the shortfalls of loss-making clubs. It's important the industry does not hold women's clubs to a profitability metric that the wider game has yet to consistently achieve.

"We're seeing significant growth across the women's game and continued investment is key."