After much anticipation, this season marks the final time that Serie A Femminile will be considered an amateur league.
You might have recently read about Serie A Femminile, Italy’s highest level for women’s soccer on this very site. Now, the top flight league will officially be designated as a professional league for the 2022/23 season following confirmation from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on Tuesday. Now, Italy’s women’s side follows in the footsteps of England and Spain, who saw their women’s leagues turn pro in 2018 and 2021 respectively.
This is a significant step forward for women’s soccer globally. FIGC president Gabriele Gravina lauded the decision of the Federal Council, calling it an ‘important day’ for soccer in Italy.
To get to this point, a number of regulatory changes were required to take place, which you can read about here.
So what does it mean to go pro?
The best way to understand the transition from amateur to professional is to think about it this way: before, Italian law considered this a hobby, but now, it is considered a job. In Italian law, this allows for the athletes to obtain a number of benefits that were not previously available under the existing structure.
With the professional designation, the players will now be considered full employees of their club. This not only means that players can now earn more money, but they will also have better access to health benefits such as subsidized maternity leave and the ability to accrue a pension.
Although such benefits will likely cause the cost of operations to increase, the professional designation will allow clubs new streams of revenue, including opening up the ability to operate a real transfer market while also making it easier for the clubs to hire non-EU players.
Going professional can only strengthen this already growing league.
In Serie A Femminile, 12 teams compete for the scudetto, which is awarded to the team who earns the most points at the end of the season. As of now, Juventus sits in first place with 53 points, followed by Roma with 48 and AC Milan with 43.
Only two match days remain for Serie A Femminile, which is set to wrap up on May 15th. Next time you see this league, the athletes will be officially considered what they have always known themselves to be: professionals.