How much do National League players get paid?

Wrexham star Paul Mullin is the highest-earner in the National League
Wrexham star Paul Mullin is the highest-earner in the National League / Michael Regan/GettyImages

The fifth tier of English football has undergone quite the reboot in recent years.

The Vanarama National League, formerly known as the Conference National, is regarded as the bridge between semi-pro and professional in the English game. The fifth tier was long regarded as the highest semi-professional league in the country, but as of the 2022/23 season, all but three teams competing in the division are fully professional.

Increased sponsorship and television coverage has facilitated an unprecedented influx of cash into the National League which has subtly aided the division's switch to professionalim.

As a result, attendances are on the up and players are getting paid more than ever before. But how much, on average, do National League stars get paid?

Is the National League semi-professional or professional?

The English fifth tier was, for much of its existence, regarded as a semi-professional division. Typically, clubs would earn professional status once they earned promotion to League Two.

However, with so many former EFL clubs now competing in the National League, it's become less clear whether the fifth tier is a semi-professional or professional competition.

The quality of the product has improved drastically in recent years, and some players have started to earn full-time wages.

What is the average National League salary?

The average National League wage is estimated to be between £1,000 and £1,500 a week. However, there are several players in the fifth tier that earn over £3,000 a week.

National League highest-earning players



Weekly wage

Paul Mullin



Ben Tozer



James Jones



Aaron Hayden



It's no surprise that current league leaders Wrexham boast the four highest-earners in the National League. Top scorer Paul Mullin and skipper Ben Tozer each earn £4,000-a-week, while midfielder James Jones and Aaron Hayden both reportedly make £3,000-a-week.

The third-oldest football club in the world has the financial backing of Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, who helped thrust the previously drifting Welsh club back into the limelight.

Success has followed Wrexham since the pair took over in 2021, and they're set to celebrate promotion to the Football League very soon.

National League salaries compared to the EFL

As we've noted, the average weekly wage in the National League is somewhere between £1,000 and £1,500. There's a pretty steep jump up to League Two, which is £2,500.

The average player in League One earns just shy of £5,000, while the average wage in the Championship last season was £7,000. This figure has likely increased in 2022/23 with average player wages for both Football League and National League players jumping by 20% since 2020.