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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Big variations in non-league budgets

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It is a big temptation for benefactors of clubs in the Premiership and Football League to try and buy success.   In particular, many Championship clubs seek to chase glory through their cheque book, even more so now that financial fair play rules have been diluted.   It can all end with an empty wallet and a sour taste in the mouth.

However, the same temptation exists for non-league clubs, although it is far riskier at this level, given that there is little to fall back on in the way of gate money and sponsorship incomes if things go wrong.   There seems to be more variation in non-league budgets than at the higher level.

For example, one Conference club, admittedly known for its parismony, is said to have a wages bill of £6k a week.   A neighbouring club in the Conference South has a wages budget of £24k a week with one former Football League player tempted by £1,500 a week.  Yet I know of a Conference North club that manages on £3k a week.

Even more incredible wages are paid lower down the non-league pyramid,   One Ryman South club has a wages bill of £10k a week with one player on £1k, yet another club in the same division has a smaller total wage bill,  managing on £400 a week.