• 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


Disparity in football wages is an ever-increasing problem. Clubs are being stretched financially more than ever before. Some have gone out of business, while others have been asking for donations.

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:

Whether regularly scouring the League Two football betting pages or not, the salaries of League Two players and managers are a topic which should interest any football fan.

This is the foundation of the sport. The Football League is more dependent on these lower league clubs than many may realise.

There’s more money in English football than any other league in the world. There are more professional clubs in England than the other big European leagues, and salaries outside the top tier are generally bigger, too.

The drop off from Championship to League One is huge, though, and that trend continues for League Two.

Average League Two Salary

Information on League Two salaries is not as easily as accessible as the big boys at the top of the English football pyramid.

Sites like TransferMarkt are packed with information on League Two clubs, but individual player salaries are not publicly known – there are similar issues even in the Premier League.

The Daily Mail’s leaked report from April 2020 does not have specific information on average League Two salaries.

The best insight offered is that League Two highest earners, of the clubs which responded, average an annual salary of £114,020. The average top earner at Championship clubs in 2019-20 was on over £1.5 million per season.

Obviously, we can read a certain amount into that. The majority of League Two players are going to be on considerably less than £100,000 per season if that is the average figure for top earners.

Clubs recently promoted from non-league will have salaries far below that mark. It’s worth noting that these figures do not include any bonuses or incentives. Some League Two players could be in for a windfall if they earn promotion.

There have been considerable changes recently, however.

The introduction of a salary cap for League One and League Two has forced League Two clubs to spend no more than £1 million per year on player wages – this averages out to roughly £1,000 per week for each player in League Two.

League Two Manager Salary

Managers salaries drop off quickly as we travel down the Football League. The best of the Premier League receive millions for each season of work, and there are some Championship managers receiving Premier League money.

League Two manager wages are altogether more reasonable. The average League Two manager, per the April 2020 leak, is on £79,462.

One League Two boss was on as little as £45,000 (which is still comfortably above the average UK salary of around £30,000).

Seeing manager salaries is always interesting. The notion that out of work managers don’t want to drop down a division or two often crops up – there’s clearly significant financial justification for that decision beyond the supposed desire to manage at a higher level.

League Two Salary vs Premier League Salary

Per Spotrac, 59 Premier League footballers are pocketing more each week than the highest League Two earners do in a season.

The Premier League stars might be more prevalent in today’s football predictions, and all the business arguments can be made, but the disparity is obviously alarming.

League Two clubs are seriously struggling financially. There is a hoarding of wealth at the top of the sport, which only furthers the concern that the Premier League becomes completely disconnected from the rest of the football pyramid – is a European Super League an inevitability?

The contrast between League Two and Premier League wage bills is astonishing. League Two clubs have been capped at £1 million per season on player wages. Manchester United are paying £915,000 each week to David De Gea, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial.

The recently promoted trio of Sheffield United, West Brom and Leeds are by far the bottom three in Premier League payroll.

Sheffield United’s figure of just under £20 million is only slightly less than the entire player wage expenditure for League Two under the salary cap.

This chasm is apparent in the dugout, too. Half of 2019-20 Premier League managers were on more per week than the average League Two manager got in a year.

Chris Wilder, the lowest paid boss in the top flight, had an annual salary of £675,000.


*Credit for the main photo belongs to Ian Walton / AP Photo*

 

FIRST PUBLISHED: 5th February 2021

About the Author
By
Sam Cox

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.