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 odds.
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 League Two odds might not be as high-profile 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.
League 2 Salary Guide:
There is a chasm between the earnings of Championship betting odds 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.
Of the 100 highest-paid players in the fourth tier of English football, only 19 earn north of £200,000 per year.
Of the top 100, there is 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 is the highest-paid League Two player in 2022-23.
Longstaff actually saw his League Two stint come to an end in January 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 for him. 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 is expected to be released at the end of the season when his current deal expires.
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.
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 earn over £317,200 per season in 2022-23. Those players are Matty Longstaff, Ellery Balcombe, and Paris Maghoma.
Compared with the Premier League, even the highest earners in League Two are on minute salaries.
There are 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 this season earns less in a year than seven Premier League players do in a week.
Stretch it further, and just 19 League Two players earn £200,000 or more per year. There are 26 Premier League players on over £200,000 per week.
Spotrac reports that only 11 Premier League players earn less than £5,000 per week. All but six League Two players earn less than £5,000 per week.
It is also important to point out that of the top League Two earners, Dom Telford of Crawley is 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.
*Credit for the images in this article belongs to AP Photo*