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The BBC's Robin Edwards
"It is nearly 20 times the income of the average supporter"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 18 April, 2000, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
Premiership players cash in
Beckham
Players such as David Beckham are the top earners
England's top footballers net 400,000 a year on average, a survey reveals.

The basic salary for Premiership players aged over 20 is 409,000 a year, or nearly 8,000 a week, reports the Independent.

More than one in three - 36% - of players in the same age group earn more than 500,000 a year.

Footballers' pay
9% earn more than 1m
36% earn more than 500,000
Other top players earn 409,000
Senior First Division players earn 128,000
Trainees earn 19,000 - 45,000
And 9% - about 100 players - earn more than 1m a year.

The survey - the largest done on professional footballers in England - was based on the answers of nearly 600 players, who responded on a confidential basis.

It is the first time players have given their own answers on their pay rates. The survey was carried out by the Independent and the players' union the PFA.

The results also revealed how, at the other end of the pay scale, young players and trainees aged between 17 and 20 earn between 19,000 and 45,000 a year on average.

Divisions divide

And the high pay levels among top footballers are not matched by their counterparts in the three divisions of the Nationwide League.

Senior First Division players earn 128,000 a year on average, while their colleagues in the Second and Third Divisions earn 52,000 and 37,000 a year respectively.

The youngest players in each division earn as little as 3,000 a year.

Of all non-Premiership players, 65% agreed that wages were the major factor in clubs' financial problems. In the Premiership, the figure was 47%.

Since the Premiership breakaway from the rest of the Football League in 1992, the top clubs' incomes have soared.

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See also:

05 May 99 | England
England offered World Cup bonuses
30 Apr 99 | FA Carling Premiership
Rise for football's 'fat cats'
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