Revealed: the princes and paupers of the dug-out

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Football managers in England earn basic salaries ranging from £20,000 to £4.2m per year, with the huge disparities as likely to be caused by the size of their clubs as the division, according to research by The Independent. Yet all managers' working hours are invariably long, at an average of 80 hours per week, rising to 87.5 hours in the Premiership.

Football managers in England earn basic salaries ranging from £20,000 to £4.2m per year, with the huge disparities as likely to be caused by the size of their clubs as the division, according to research by The Independent. Yet all managers' working hours are invariably long, at an average of 80 hours per week, rising to 87.5 hours in the Premiership.

The data on wages was provided on a confidential basis by a representative sample of clubs across the four professional divisions. The managers' working hours derive from a separate exclusive survey conducted for The Independent in association with the League Managers' Association and one of its sponsors, Tissot. More than 60 per cent of all current managers - from the Premiership to League Two - took part, making the survey the widest-ever consultation on subjects ranging from working hours, to pressures, to attitudes to drug-abusing players, to technology.

In the Premiership, the basic wage range is £600,000 to £4.18m per year. Calculating meaningful average salaries in any division is complex because of the diversity of packages paid at either end of the scale. But informed sources say the typical "mid-range" salary in the top division is £1m per year plus bonuses, which vary from club to club.

In the Championship, basic salaries range from £95,000 to £450,000 per year, with a "typical" mid-range salary of £200,000 plus bonuses. In League One, the spread is £55,000 to £200,000, with the mid-range salary at £80,000 plus bonuses.

In League Two the spread, strictly speaking, ranges from nothing to £100,000 per year. Ramon Diaz at Oxford has no work permit and officially works for free, while another manager is known to be on a bonus-only package. The mid-range salary is £55,000 a year plus bonuses, with the lowest paid manager understood to be earning a basic £20,000.

According to one source, one recent League Two manager received basic annual pay of £13,000, albeit boosted by bonuses in a deal with incentives.

The rewards for élite managers are huge, such as the £4.18m basic annual pay of Chelsea's Jose Mourinho, whose contract this season included potential bonuses of another £4.18m for completing the quadruple. The basic rate of Mourinho, if he works a 100-hour week, equates to £800 per hour.

The average Briton works 41.5 hours per week, for an average weekly wage of £505, or around £12 per hour.

On a pro-rata basis, the lowest-paid football managers earn pre-bonus salaries below the national minimum wage of £4.83 an hour. A League Two manager working the average hours for his division (84.3 hours per week), earning £13,000 per year basic, would have been earning a basic £2.99 per hour.

John Barnwell, the chief executive of the LMA, said that confidentiality issues prevent him from confirming any managers' salaries but added: "In many cases, particularly lower down, they are never as high as people commonly believe. But no one forces managers to do their jobs. If they don't like it, they can put their coat on and go home."

Home is a place that few managers seem to spend much time. Across all divisions the average working week is 80 hours, rising to 87.5 hours in the Premiership, where a quarter of managers work 100 hours or more per week. Almost 70 per cent of Premiership managers work more than 80 hours per week (compared to 31 per cent in the Championship, 18 per cent in League One and 43 per cent in League Two).

The strains of management on family life are indicated by the survey's findings that the vast majority of managers spend fewer than half their evenings at home during the season. Only two per cent of managers spend as many as five evenings per week at home, and none of those surveyed spend more than that.

Attitudes to drug-abusing players varied widely between divisions. An overall minority - of 40 per cent - would want to sack a player for taking recreational drugs, but this rose to a majority of 64 per cent within the Premiership. Hence Chelsea's stance on Adrian Mutu appears to have support among Mourinho's immediate peers but disapproval elsewhere.

Unsurprisingly, attitudes are tougher on performance-enhancing drugs. Almost 70 per cent of managers would want to sack a guilty player, rising to 83 per cent in the Premiership. Yet a sizeable minority of managers overall (33 per cent) would not want an automatic sacking for a player who was found to be cheating with performance-enhancing drugs.

The managers' stance on the use of technology to aid officials was more balanced, with 96 per cent favouring video/technological evidence during games to decide goal-line decisions. Every Premiership manager supported this. There was less support across all divisions for video evidence to decide off-sides and other decisions, although 83 per cent of Premiership managers support it for penalty calls. Across all divisions, fewer than half of managers want video evidence for penalty calls.

Comments