She kicks: the state of competitive balance in the top five women’s football leagues in Europe

Sarthak Mondal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Competitive balance remains a core component of sport economics literature and an important management consideration for league organisers. This paper analyses competitive balance in the 'top five' women's football leagues in Europe longitudinally between 1997/98 and 2018/19. Using recognised measures of league concentration and dominance, the results display a mixed picture in respect of competitive balance across the five major women's leagues in European football. The women's football industry has seen positive growth during the last ten years while competitive balance in most of the leagues examined has remained relatively stable. Some significant differences were detected in the levels of concentration between leagues. There was also some variation in terms of some leagues being dominated by a fewer number of teams. However, these two measures of competitive balance (concentration and dominance) were not necessarily correlated with each other. In a broader governance context, questions remain over the potential for further growth in the women's game as leagues are moving towards commercialisation of TV rights from 2021 to 2022.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Global Sport Management
Early online date11 Feb 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 11 Feb 2021


  • competitive balance
  • concentration
  • dominance
  • professional team sports
  • Women’s football

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