The average wage in the English Championship
If you are passionate about sports betting, you just can’t walk past the UK’s second-highest soccer event – the EFL. And this doesn’t come as unexpected, for the Championship leapfrogs all major European leagues in terms of attendance, reaching 20 million spectators. Some, however, mistakenly consider it a second-rate competition and give all honor to the Premier League. It’s not quite reasonable. The Sky Bet Championship is the flagship of the Football League. The EPL is a separate association with the Football League’s best clubs getting into it. This is why some viewers see the EFL as secondary soccer, but the corporations, that are willing to invest, go by figures, not by guesswork or stereotypes. Thus, the Championship, as a business, is growing and developing rapidly. In England, the EFL is considered the fourth league in the world, right after the EPL, Bundesliga, and LaLiga! By the way, this ‘second-rate’ competition was founded in 2004 to replace the First Division, and, according to Deloitte, in its 2004/05 edition, it was ranked as the richest second division in the world and the sixth richest division in Europe!
Clubs’ budgets, salaries, infrastructure, quality of fields, number of players playing for national teams, number of foreign coaches, average attendance, total league turnover… that’s what makes it prestigious and highly ranked.
When betting online on football and looking for the appropriate Championship league odds to place a bet on your favorite player’s victory, do you wonder how much money this very victory could bring him or how much his participation could be valued at? Probably, no… So, we are here to lift the veil on such questions as how much do Championship footballers earn, what’s average Championship salary, how much income can winning and participating in the league bring, etc.
As far as you know, according to the regular-season results, the two strongest clubs automatically qualify for the EPL next season, while the three bottom competitors are relegated to the lower division. Participants ranked third through sixth make it into the playoffs, with the victor being advanced to the Premier League.
The Championship winner, besides high earnings, receives the same trophy as the one that was handed to the champs of the former First Division. The victor is guaranteed 117 million euros, and even if it leaves the EPL one season after the promotion, it will receive payments for two more years: 45% and 20% in the first and second seasons respectively. In total, the victor will earn a minimum of 193 million euros in the space of two years! And that’s without taking into account game-day revenues, meaning, earnings from tickets sold, fans’ expenses, etc. According to Sky Sports, for the leaders of the Championships table, this amount equals 7.3 million euros a year!
Clubs also receive additional payments from sponsors. The status participants regularly get really big bucks, thus, according to The Telegraph, Newcastle and Aston Villa received €7.7 million each from technical and title sponsors in 2016. Add to this all sorts of bonuses, rights of brand use, and other commercial payments the teams gain regularly, and the result will come to enormous numbers!
It’s all about awards and additional motivation, which clubs can get, but what about players and their averages, how much do common footballers get paid in the UK’s second-highest league? So, let’s refer to the stats and start from the very beginning, as figures usually speak much louder than words. In 2006, the average wage of a Championship player amounted to £150,000 per year, which equaled £3,000 a week. This is already a large amount in comparison with the mean earnings of an ordinary English employee. At that time, the gulf between the incomes of the Premier League participants and EFL football salaries was very tangible, namely, second-tier sportsmen earned less than one-fifth of the average salary of the reps from the next division in the hierarchy of English soccer. But over the first decade, average wages in Championship football had gone up two-and-a-half times, having reached £30,000 a month!
In another five years, these numbers have increased significantly, and to this date, the average wage in the Championship reaches £29,000 a week. Statistically, the highest-paid Championship players’ earnings range from £50,000 to £83,000 a week, which is two-three times higher than the average footballer’s income; what’s more, it’s greater than the wages of many EPL players! As of 2020, we can name such high earners as André Ayew (£83,000, Swansea City), Troy Deeney (£77,000, Watford), Asmir Begović (£73,000, AFC Bournemouth), Andre Gray (£73,000, Watford), Yannick Bolasie (£71,000, Middlesbrough), Ismaïla Sarr (£71,000, Watford), etc.
As per the 2020 Daily Mail survey, the approximate top earner’s annual income has reached £1.51 million, which is equivalent to £125,000 per month! Given the fact that the average budget of a club without financial support funds is about 45 million pounds, occasional payments to a few footballers are not ‘painful’, while having an entire squad on a generous payroll can significantly hit the budget. For instance, Stoke City is able to afford as many as nine highly-paid sportsmen with a remuneration of £50,000 a week. What’s more, soccer players are not the only ones who get paid huge sums here! Championship football managers also reap the financial rewards, with salaries significantly exceeding those of the footballers!
Why so much? It’s a matter of supply and demand. Talents are in heavy demand – they enhance chances to win a title, which, in its turn, ensures the team’s profit from tickets, broadcasting, fans’ expenditures, etc. The teams need to bid for the best of the best, offering a higher and higher price every time, to have them on board in order to progress and reap a profit. Even so, it’s like a positive-sum game, at least, for the sides involved. And probably, it’ll always be the case, with an increase-in-number scenario. These prices can go down and cause a decrease in wages only if people become disengaged with the league. In such a situation, teams won’t be able to make enough money on the game, and consequently, won’t be able to pay the participants as much as they do now. However, we can hardly imagine such a situation – given the seas of die-hard EFL fans, it is not going to happen any time soon! But at the same time, as per some survey results, some people hold aloof from this event – the tickets’ price seems rather stiff, and this becomes the main obstacle for them to attend the matches less or even not to attend them at all. This can’t be regarded as cheering news for teams…