Chelsea, PSG, Everton: The highest spending women's teams over the past decade

Chelsea and Barcelona have been named on a list of the highest-spending teams in women's football

Football website Soccerdonna has listed the highest spending women’s teams over the past decade.

The list is based only on transfer fees that have been officially announced, and does not include figures for wages, salaries, or investment in facilities and resources. It takes into account fees from the past decade, starting from the 2011-2012 season.

Here are the top 10 highest spending teams in women’s football, according to Soccerdonna.

10) FC Barcelona – €100,000 (£85,000)

Barcelona have been one of the most successful women’s teams in the past decade, winning the Primera División six times during that period. They reached the pinnacle of European football last year, thrashing Chelsea 4-0 to win the Women’s Champions League final.

Barcelona Women

9) Everton – €100,000 (£85,000)

Women’s Super League team Everton have been on both sides of big-spending transfer deals in recent years. According to L’Équipe, the Toffees paid around €100,000 for French striker Valérie Gauvin in August 2020.

Six months later, Lyon reportedly triggered Damaris Egurrola’s £100,000 release clause to purchase the midfielder from Everton. With Everton looking to build on their fifth-place finish last season, they are likely to continue splashing the cash.

Everton forward Valérie Gauvin

8) Jiangsu LFC – €154,000 (£131,000)

Jiangsu LFC has endured a tricky time of late – parent company Suning Holdings Group announced they were to cease operations immediately in February. The ownership of the women’s team was transferred to the Administration of Sport of Jiangsu.

Prior to this upheaval, Jiangsu won the Chinese Women’s Super League in 2019, and then finished second last year.


7) Washington Spirit – €177,000 (£150,000)

Washington Spirit ply their trade in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US. The side are yet to win the league, coming closest in 2016 when they finished second.

The club is currently in turmoil after coach Richie Burke stepped down pending an investigation into allegations of extreme bullying.

NWSL team Washington Spirit

6) VfL Wolfsburg – €185,000 (£157,000)

VfL Wolfsburg is the most successful German team in women’s football, topping the Frauen-Bundesliga six times. They have also won the Women’s Champions League twice.

Their dominance is now being threatened by Bayern Munich, who triumphed in the Frauen-Bundesliga last year.

VfL Wolfsburg

5) Olympique Lyonnais – €260,000 (£221,000)

Lyon have always attracted some of the best female footballers in their world, a result of their willingness to invest in their women’s team and subsequent success on the pitch.

The team has won seven Champions League titles, including a record five successive titles from 2016 to 2020, as well as 14 consecutive domestic league titles from 2007 to 2020. PSG ended Lyon’s league dominance last season, and the Division 1 Féminine should be just as closely contested this year.

Olympique Lyonnais

4) OL Reign – €283,000 (£241,000)

Formerly known as Seattle Reign, OL Reign was one of the eight inaugural teams of the NWSL. In 2020, OL Groupe, the parent company of Lyon, became the team’s majority owner.

OL Reign are yet to win the league, but claimed the NWSL Shield in 2014 and 2015.

OL Reign

3) Paris Saint-Germain – €285,000 (£242,000)

PSG have been battling to trump Lyon in the Division 1 Féminine for years, finally doing so last season.

The side have also reached the final of the Women’s Champions League twice, finishing as runners-up in 2015 and 2017.

Paris Saint-Germain

2) Portland Thorns FC – €345,000 (£293,000)

Portland Thorns are the third NWSL team to feature in the list of the highest spending women’s teams of the past decade.

The team is highly successful, winning the league title in 2013 and 2017, also triumphing in this year’s Challenge Cup. Portland Thorns also clinched the NWSL Shield in 2016 and NWSL Community Shield in 2020.

Portland Thorns

1) Chelsea – €444,000 (£378,000)

It is not too surprising to see WSL champions Chelsea at the top of this list. The club reportedly paid £250,000 for Danish forward Pernille Harder in February, a record transfer fee in women’s football.

Chelsea also signed Manchester United’s Lauren James in July for a deal worth up to £200,000 including bonuses. Again, this was a record transfer fee, this time between two WSL clubs.

Splashing the cash has worked out well for Chelsea – they have won four WSL titles and made it to the final of the Women’s Champions League last season.

Chelsea forward Pernille Harder
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