While Premier League stars are signing multi-million-pound contracts and average team wage bills climb to unthinkable figures, it is common knowledge for most football supporters on how much the top players earn these days. The same cannot be said for the lower divisions of English football, as contracts and wages are usually kept disclosed from the media and therefore receive less attention in the footballing world.
Despite this lack of attention, the lower divisions such as League 1 and League 2 have seen record player wages increase yearly with teams desperate to acquire and keep top stars at their club.
But how much do these English league players earn? And who are the highest earners in League 2?
Highest Earners in League Two
The highest-earning player in League 2 is Exeter City goalkeeper Cameron Dawson, who is on a yearly salary of £332,000 (£6,400 per week). Tranmere’s Lee O’Connor is a close second, earning a yearly salary of £312,000 while Swindon Town’s Jack Payne is the third-highest earner in the league with a £265,000 yearly salary.
As footballer wages have increased yearly across all divisions, League 2 players’ average wages have consequently increased with the top ten earners in the league all making over £3,500 per week.
Average League 2 Salary
The average League 2 player reportedly earns £2,500 per week with the average team wage bill being over £30,000 per week for a League 2 club. This average player wage has gradually increased over the past few years, with the 2020 average League 2 player salary only just hitting the £2,000 mark.
How Much Do League 2 Players Make?
In 2022, the average League 2 player makes around £2,500 per week, while the top twenty earners in the league earn over £3,000 per week.
Current league leaders, Forest Green Rovers, currently have a total team wage bill of £33,450 per week with their highest-paid player being Ben Stevenson, who earns £2,500 per week. Salford City has the highest average team wage bill at £54,000, more than double the wage bill of Barrow, who has the lowest total team wage in League 2 at £22,700 per week.
The top fifteen earners in the league make over £3,400 per week while eight players make over £4,000 per week. This is a considerable difference from the league’s average player salary as wealthier clubs have been able to offer higher contracts for higher quality players. Out of the top ten earning players in the league, there are two players from Bradford, Salford, and Swindon.
League 1 vs League 2: Salaries
On average, League 1 players earn double what League 2 players earn with the average weekly salary for a League 1 player being £5,000.
This is a considerable difference from the average Championship player wage which sits almost six times higher at £30,000 per week.
League 1 side Sunderland has ten players on salaries over £5,000 per week as well as one of the highest-paid players in the division, Aiden McGeady, who reportedly earns £19,000 per week. According to Salarysport.com, Bersant Celina is the highest-paid player in League 1, raking in £21,000 per week, a figure three times more than League 2 highest earner Cameron Dawson.