ANNUAL club budgets of £2.5million, average attendances of 3,500 and the weekend’s games broadcasted live.
That’s what the Women’s Super League has to live up to if it is to become as successful as its American cousin, Women’s Professional Soccer.
There’s a long way to go.
Twelve-time national champions and title favourites Arsenal have historically struggled to get more than 200 through the gates.
Wages will remain sporadic with the league run on a semi-professional basis – Everton’s players all being paid the same flat fee based on appearances.
And satellite channel ESPN has not paid a penny to acquire the broadcasting rights to show six live games throughout the season along with a weekly highlights package.
But the beginning of the WSL this week remains a significant step forward.
The FA has ploughed £3m into the eight-team semi-professional league which will run over the summer months in the hope of attracting supporters suffering withdrawal symptoms from the men’s game.
Fulwell-born Jill Scott admits she remains tempted to head Stateside, even though her fellow England internationals Karen Carney and Katie Chapman have returned from America to make an impact on the WSL.
But she hopes the new league will find a niche over the summer months and continue the rapid development of the women’s game.
Scott said: “If I got the opportunity to play in America, it would definitely be something that I’d have to do.”
Read Chris Young’s feature in Thursday’s Sunderland Echo.