Average salaries for players in all four divisions of English professional football

Professional football is big business but while the iconic names in the Premier League earn incredible money, wages drop the further players head down the EFL.


Some ply their trade in front of crowds in excess of 60,000 people while others perform for attendances of one-twentieth of that size.

So it is little wonder that there are gulfs between the money the stars of the Premier League can earn and the wages paid to League Two players.

What is the average wage of a Premier League footballer?

The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) has reported that the average wage of a player in the top flight is just over £60,000 a week.

Of course, the figures differ wildly between those true stars of the English game and youngsters taking their first steps towards what they hope will be soccer stardom.

Manchester City midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne is reported to be the country’s highest-paid player, with a weekly wage of £400,000, resulting in an annual salary of £20.8m.

His City teammate Erling Haaland is not far behind on £19.5m per annum, but the Etihad outfit are not the biggest spenders regarding wages.

That distinction goes to their arch-rivals Manchester United, who pay their players an average of £7.19m a year.

Chelsea and City come next with £6.79m, while the figure for current Premier League leaders Arsenal is just under half of United’s number at £3.56m.

What is the average wage of a Championship footballer?

Footballers’ wages tend to take a sharp dive if they ply their trade in the Championship and the average salary for a player in the second tier drops down to about £7,000 a week.

There are still those who are paid substantially even if they are no longer playing at the highest level and the top two both play for Watford with forward Ismaila Sarr reported to be on £63,000 a week, while his Vicarage Road teammate Tom Cleverley is said to be paid £50,000 a week.

It is interesting to note that last season’s champions Fulham, who ran away with the division, had the highest wage bill, paying their players an average of £22,400 a week.

What is the average wage of a League One footballer?

The drop to League One wages is not as huge as between the Premier League and the Championship, but it is still noticeably less, with the average wage said to be £4,753 a week.

There are some big clubs in the division and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan is League One’s highest-paid performer at £21,000 a week.

Plymouth pair Sam Crosgrove and Bali Mumba, who are on loan at Home Park from Birmingham and Norwich, respectively, come next on the list with weekly wages of £18,000.

What is the average wage of a League Two footballer?

Reports differ as to what the average wage is for a player in League Two but it is thought to be about £2,000 a week.

Colchester’s Matty Longstaff is the highest-paid player in the division, but he is on loan at the Essex club from Premier League high-flyers Newcastle, who are likely to be paying a significant proportion of the midfielder’s wages.

Crawley goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe, who is on loan from Brentford, is reported to be the next in the Football League basement top-paid list on £8,300 a week.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post
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2 responses to “Average salaries for players in all four divisions of English professional football”

  1. Philip says:

    Crazy sums money I love football but how these guys sleep at night is beyond me surely money would be better spent on hospitals 🏥 etc by all means pay professional people well because they are good and talented and entertain but keep some realistic figures.

  2. Ann Llewellyn says:

    I cannot believe that footballers are paid so much. Whilst the average bloke earns less a year than some low paid kickers get in a week. Yet they still pay a fortune for a ticket!! To watch pampered boys play a game. Jimmy Hill has a lot to answer for. Most of these players could club together and solve the housing crisis for poorer people. Where are the philanthropists? I know some do charity work etc but Wealthy Victorians did practical things for society. These players believe their God like status and it’s ridiculous. Let’s get real. First abide by the rules. Only the Captain should approach the referee. Dissent is a sending off offence no chances. Clean up the game boys become men. Then perhaps the terraces would be safe for all.

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