Australian Professional Leagues releases Annual Report 2022-2023

Report covers period marked by an unprecedented interest in football across Australia and New Zealand

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has today released its Annual Report for season 2022-2023.

The period was marked by an unprecedented interest in football across Australia and New Zealand with the highly successful co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 along with the holding of the FIFA Men’s World Cup in late 2022.

The report highlights the record number of Australian internationals currently playing in and developed by the Isuzu UTE A-League Men and Liberty A-League Women, and the increase in contributions by under-23 players over the last three years. Aggregate attendances across both leagues were up by  46% from the previous season, with records set in both the men’s and women’s finals series. Free-to-air viewing of games in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men was up by 26% year-on-year while for the Liberty A- League Women there was a huge year-on-year increase in aggregate viewership of 63% across all platforms. 

Outgoing APL Chair Paul Lederer pointed to the achievements of the Australian national teams, 43 of 46 of whom were developed in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men and the Liberty A-League Women. 

“The impressive contribution of A-Leagues players to our national teams is not an accident. It is the direct result of investments over many years by our clubs with a vision of a thriving league where fans can watch fast-paced and exciting football,” Mr Lederer said.

“This year has seen us begin to awaken the global football economy to the strength of the A-Leagues. Our annual transfer fee records were broken in a single transfer window thanks to the international interest in academy products such as Sammy Silvera, Jordan Bos, Anthony Pavlešić and Marco Tilio.

“It is vital that we continue to support our players’ journeys overseas, and equally vital that we are a destination of choice for local and international players alike. 

“Next season, we will add new clubs in both Australia and in New Zealand, with further expansion planned in the following year, creating more opportunities for players, more competitiveness, and more compelling drama for our fans.”

APL CEO Danny Townsend said APL set in motion an ambitious new strategy two years ago to help realise a vision to establish football as the most entertaining and popular sport across Australasia. 

“At its heart, APL’s strategy had the intent of inspiring the next-generation of A-Leagues superstars to fulfil their potential,” Mr Townsend said.

“On the eve of a new season, and with unprecedented numbers of young players making their mark in our leagues, there is much for the A-Leagues to be proud of and excited by.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup has delivered football in our region an enormous opportunity. We all must now take responsibility for leveraging the momentum created by the excitement of the tournament. We want to make sure the almost two million fans who attended World Cup games, or the many millions more who were enthralled by the event’s broadcast, look to the A-Leagues as their way of continuing to feel the excitement provided by top-quality football.

“Last season saw the highly successful debut of Western United’s team in the Liberty A-League as part of APL’s expansion strategy across the A-Leagues. This coming season will see the Central Coast Mariners women enter the Liberty A-League providing even further opportunities for talented young girls across Australia and New Zealand.

“The growth of APL’s content business, KEEPUP, has continued at pace over the past year. As a demonstration of the maturing of KEEPUP, it was one of the leading publishers of digital content during the FIFA Women’s World Cup despite not being an official rights-holder.”

Mr Townsend paid tribute to Mr Lederer, APL’s inaugural Chair.

“Paul has been at the helm through the time of the global pandemic, and during our subsequent extraordinary growth. Quite simply, we could not have done this without Paul’s leadership over the past two and a half years.”

In September 2023, APL announced the appointment of former Federal Government Minister, the Hon Stephen Conroy as its first ever Independent Chair. Mr Lederer will remain a member of the APL Board.

READ MORE: Message from outgoing Australian Professional Leagues chair Paul Lederer



  • A 57% increase in goals by U23 men’s players since 2019
  • 42% increase in contracted players in the Liberty A-League Women since 2018
  • A record number of Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s players in the Australian squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  • 100% of Matildas who player or have played in the Liberty A-League Women 


  • 43% YOY increase in match attendance in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men
  • 61% YOY increase in total match attendance in the men’s Finals Series
  • 13% YOY increase in match attendance in the Liberty A-League Women
  • 58% YOY increase in total match attendance in the women’s Finals Series


  • 31% YOY increase in aggregate minutes viewed of live Isuzu UTE A-League Men games
  • 63% YOY increase in aggregate minutes viewed of live Liberty A-League Women games
  • 51% YOY increase in FTA TV audience of men’s and women’s Grand Finals
  • 174% YOY increase in KEEPUP users and 368% increase in social media video views