• League Two players earn considerably less than their League One counterparts

  • The top League Two earners get less in a year than a lot of Premier League stars do in a week

  • One League Two manager is on just £45,000 per season

Salaries for League Two players are not as controversial nor as publicly discussed as their counterparts in Premier League betting.

A long way from the glitz and glamour of the topflight, League Two football is closer to the grassroots and the financial figures are much more reasonable.

League Two player salaries are a fascinating topic for fans.

While live betting on League Two might not attract as many punters as their bigger-name counterparts in the Premier League and Championship, the financial tightrope the clubs are walking makes their player salaries, if anything, more relevant.

There is a chasm between the earnings of Championship stars and the biggest names in League Two.

Still, some sizeable clubs have been in League Two over the last few years, and the fans in the fourth tier are no less committed than those higher up the pyramid (many would argue they are more devoted to their teams, if anything).

Let’s learn a bit more about League Two salaries… 

Average League Two Salary

Specific figures for the entirety of League Two are not publicly available. Salary Sport, however, reported the weekly and annual wages for the 100 highest earners in League Two in 2022-23.


Of the 100 highest-paid players in the fourth tier of English football, only 19 earned north of £200,000 per year.

Of the top 100, there was an average annual salary of £174,200, which is elevated considerably by the top few earners. The median among that group comes in at £140,400, earned by both Rhys Oates and Richie Smallwood. 

Inevitably, the higher League One salaries are going to be above what we see in League Two, yet there is often considerable overlap.

The average League Two salary will fluctuate by a significant amount year-to-year depending on the players and clubs in the division.

Highest Paid League Two Player

According to Salary Sport, Newcastle United loanee Matty Longstaff was the highest-paid League Two player in 2022-23.

Longstaff actually saw his League Two stint come to an end in January 2023 due to a severe knee injury. Having returned to his parent club, the energetic midfielder is out for several months. 

Longstaff was on loan at Colchester United during the first half of the campaign, and reportedly has a weekly wage of £24,000. It is, however, unclear how much of that figure would have been contributed by Colchester.

Given the other salaries in League Two, it is likely Newcastle would have covered most, if not all, of the wages. Longstaff had previously been loaned out to Aberdeen and Mansfield Town. 

Again courtesy of Salary Sport, Longstaff’s wage would rank in the top 50 among Championship players.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe spoke about Longstaff following his injury.

"Very difficult for any young player to pick up any serious injury. For Matty, it is bad timing. We certainly wish him well and hope he recovers fully. We will support him back to full fitness. It’s our duty and we want to do that for him.

"Very much like his brother, he’s an incredible lad and Newcastle through and through. He’s in good hands.”

Having fallen a long way out of favour at St James’, though, Longstaff was released at the end of the season.

League Two Manager Salary

Premier League, and some Championship, managers are on extortionate money, matching the numbers we associate with player earnings.

Just as League Two player salaries are reasonable in comparison to their higher-division contemporaries, managers also receive considerably less money for their endeavours.

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That, of course, is not to suggest they have less work to do or are even necessarily less talented.

Managerial progression is often about good fortune as much as skill, and there have been plenty of examples of managers excelling at a higher level when given the opportunity.

League Two managers face a gruelling league season and cup competitions, travelling all over the country and often facing challenges which would be alien to those used to the Premier League. 

Exact figures for League Two manager salaries are very difficult to find. A leaked report from 2020 suggested the average was around £80,000 per year, while back in 2014, a similar analysis claimed the average was £50,000. 

These numbers are a long way from the riches of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and others, but it still comes in comfortably above the UK average annual salary, which is under £28,000 as of November 2022.

League Two Salary vs Premier League Salary

Only three League Two players earned over £317,200 per season in 2022-23. Those players were Matty Longstaff, Ellery Balcombe, and Paris Maghoma.

Compared with the Premier League, even the highest earners in League Two are on minute salaries. 

There were seven Premier League players – Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, David De Gea, Mohamed Salah, Raphael Varane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho – earning over £325,000 per week, according to Spotrac. 

Simply put, the fourth-highest League Two earner in 2022-23 earned less in a year than seven Premier League players do in a week. 

League Two Footballer Salary

Stretch it further, and just 19 League Two players earn £200,000 or more per year. There are 28 Premier League players on over £200,000 per week in 2023-24.

Spotrac reports that only 13 Premier League players earn less than £5,000 per week. All but six League Two players earned less than £5,000 per week in 2022-23. 

It is also important to point out that of last season’s top League Two earners, Dom Telford of Crawley was the only one contracted to a League Two club.

Telford is on £4,400 per week – all the players equal or above him in the wages charts are on loan from club’s in higher divisions, including Dynel Simeu from Southampton and Ethan Galbraith from Manchester United.

League Two Financial Growth

While exact figures for the 2023-24 League Two season are yet to be announced, Capology reports that Wrexham have the biggest payroll in the fourth tier.

This, of course, is not much of a surprise given the Hollywood owners and the widespread coverage the club received in the National League.

Gillingham, Bradford and Forest Green Rovers reportedly trail close behind Wrexham in player salary figures. The Athletic also covered League Two finances in October 2023, and claimed total player salaries are around £2 million.

Wrexham are not the only club with meaningful ambition in the fourth tier, which Bradford City chief executive Ryan Sparks thinks is pushing the division in the right direction.

“The profile of League Two has never been higher. I’d also suggest this is the best League Two I’ve seen. The standard of player is high. In our squad, we have players who will consider themselves League One players. Some even higher.

“As a result, the division is 100 per cent more competitive this time around. Unlike last year (when champions Leyton Orient were top from October 22 onwards), there is no runaway winner this time and a dozen teams, maybe more, are chasing a place in the top seven.”

Sparks also mentioned that some teams are paying almost £4 million in wages, according to an EFL benchmarking study. 

He added, “It is sustainable if you’re growing. Or if you intend to be in the next division, because reward comes with that. For a club like Wrexham, I’d say it is definitely sustainable. Their turnover is enormous. But they will still have to work hard to sustain that.”

Current League Two Teams List

  • Accrington Stanley

  • AFC Wimbledon

  • Barrow

  • Bradford City

  • Colchester United

  • Crawley Town

  • Crewe Alexandra

  • Doncaster Rovers

  • Forest Green Rovers

  • Gillingham

  • Grimsby Town

  • Harrogate Town

  • Mansfield Town

  • Milton Keynes Dons

  • Morecambe

  • Newport County

  • Notts County

  • Salford City

  • Stockport County

  • Sutton United

  • Swindon Town

  • Tranmere Rovers

  • Walsall

  • Wrexham

*Credit for the images in this article belongs to Alamy

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.