When Chelsea signed the Denmark ahead Pernille More durable from Wolfsburg for a report payment early final September, they weren’t a lot parking as amassing their tanks on Lyon’s entrance garden.
The then all-conquering French facet had simply gained a fifth successive Champions League closing however the photos of Chelsea’s supervisor, Emma Hayes, and the membership’s influential director, Marina Granovskaia, flanking More durable signalled a altering of the guard.
On Sunday Lyon, quarter-final losers towards Paris Saint-Germain, will watch on tv as Chelsea face a equally bold Barcelona on this 12 months’s showpiece denouement in Gothenburg.
Regardless of that More durable has been barely eclipsed by her fellow forwards Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby this season and will even begin on the bench in Sweden; by paying what’s believed to be a world-record payment within the area of £250,000-£300,000 for a feminine footballer Chelsea had sharpened their monetary elbows.
Though there are understood to be tons of of gamers within the English Ladies’s Tremendous League commanding six-figure salaries, the prevalence of short-term contracts dictates switch charges stay comparatively uncommon and lots of professionals at smaller golf equipment earn about £35,000 a 12 months, typically significantly much less.
At Chelsea, although, a big nucleus of first-team regulars falls into the six-figure remuneration bracket with More durable and Australia’s Kerr reportedly amassing as a lot as £350,000 a 12 months.
That’s roughly what Lyon pay Ada Hegerberg, their Norway worldwide and Ballon d’Or winner, and Barcelona provide the Netherlands winger Lieke Martens.
On Sunday will probably be the flip of Martens, Asisat Oshoala, Caroline Graham Hansen and the remainder of Barcelona Femeni’s stars to affix Chelsea’s Kerr, More durable, Fran Kirby, Magdalena Eriksson and firm in strutting their stuff underneath the sport’s strobe lights.
You will need to stress that each side’ presence in Gothenburg is basically all the way down to the stellar administration and crew constructing of Hayes – broadly acknowledged as one of many brightest stars within the teaching firmament – and her Barça counterpart Lluís Cortés however the cash helps.
This 12 months the Spanish gamers’ union revealed that girls’s wages of their high tier averaged a modest €17,000 a 12 months however in late 2019 Barcelona’s accounts confirmed Cortes’s squad alone loved a funds of €3.5m a 12 months.
Vicky Losada, Barcelona’s captain, spelt the state of affairs out. “At our membership we’ve salaries you’ll be able to reside on, not simply survive on,” she stated. “However in about half the groups in our league plenty of the women nearly survive on what they earn.”
It’s all a part of a seismic shift within the typically nonetheless extraordinarily uneven topography of the European girls’s sport. A decade in the past when Hayes was employed by Chelsea’s proprietor, Roman Abramovich, Bristol Metropolis and Liverpool had simply turn out to be the primary WSL golf equipment to import gamers from overseas but it surely was Hayes who signed the league’s first actual abroad star. Considerably, the arrival of the South Korea midfielder Ji So-yun from Japan’s INAC Kobe Leonessa in 2014 represented a WSL watershed.
Since then fairly a bit of cash has been spent by the newly topped English champions however Ji and her supervisor have additionally put in an terrible lot of laborious yards. On Sunday they hope to reap their reward on the Gamla Ullevi stadium.