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O'Neill Not a Big Fan of Salary Cap
Sunday, 12th Jul 2020 10:43

Town general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says he’s not a big fan of the EFL’s plans for a salary cap at League One level, which he believes have a “strong likelihood” of being voted in.

A cap of £2.5 million at League One level and £1.25 million for League Two has been proposed by the EFL.

Town would be one of the clubs most affected by a cap set as low as £2.5 million, although wages of players aged under 21 wouldn’t count towards the figure. It's proposed that squad sizes would be limited to 20 senior players aged over 21 with eight homegrown.

In their last season in the Championship the Blues’ overall wage bill was £18.95 million with player wages understood to have made up around £11-£12 million of that figure.

After relegation, many players’ salaries dropped as a result of clauses in their deals, by as much as 60 per cent in some cases, however, Town’s player wage bill is almost certainly more than double, perhaps three times higher than the proposed limit and will be one of the largest in the division.

“It’s a lot higher than that, I won’t go into specifics but it’s a lot higher than that,” O’Neill told TWTD when asked about the £2.5 million cap.

“I understand why it’s on the table and why clubs are looking at it and it brings to light the financial implications around football at the moment and trying to level the playing field from a financial aspect.

“From an ownership point of view, if you have that luxury of having an owner that is willing to or able to invest more money into the club because he wants to, this obviously reduces the ability to be able to do that, and that I don’t think is fair.

“I think Financial Fair Play was put in place to look at those elements, to help the clubs who are big clubs with big fanbases, and that can economically work for most clubs if it’s adhered to. We’ve stuck to that, we’ve definitely adhered to the Financial Fair Play stuff.

“The salary cap has got to be voted through and it’s something that is being talked about. I’m not necessarily a big fan of it for obvious reasons.”

A number of clubs are understood to have spoken against the cap at the most recent meeting of the 23 clubs just over a week ago.

Given the size of the wage bills at Town and Sunderland in particular, a transition period to drop towards the £2.5 million limit seems inevitable if the clubs vote by the required two-thirds majority to institute the cap.

“You would hope so and again from the conversations we’ve had, there would be this initial period of time where it would be transitioned over, obviously looking even as early as this up and coming season. It’s an issue,” he continued.

“If you’re asking me what other people think, other clubs, I don’t know because what someone might say to us is one thing and then they might vote something different through and everyone is unique in the way that they vote things through.

“You can see some smaller clubs in this league absolutely wanting that and you can see some of the bigger clubs saying absolutely not. Where the middle ground lies and who would vote for what, I don’t know. There’s a strong likelihood that something like this could get voted through.”

O’Neill says another issue is how to deal with sides dropping out of the Championship where wage bills are very significantly higher in most cases.

“I think the gap between League One and the Championship, the cap they’re trying to talk about in the Championship, there’s a huge gap in relation to operational costs and that brings its own problems with clubs coming out of one league and into another,” he said.

“I understand the reasons why it’s being talked about and I also think then you’ve got the whole issue with players and the PFA getting involved because you’re talking about capping potential earnings as well.

“There are a load of issues which probably still need to be addressed but it is on the table and it is being discussed.”

Last week Town took up the one-year options on Tomas Holy and Jon Nolan’s contracts which O’Neill says was partly with an eye on the introduction of the salary cap.

“When we were looking at those options, what we don’t want to be is in the situation where players are in their last year of their contract and it’s very difficult then to start looking at whether they want to be here and whether we’ll be able to offer them what they want to be here,” he said.

“To look at trying to make sure that we can safeguard the club and look at a players’ situation, everyone’s individual.

“I think from a salary cap point of view, if it were to go through, then there will be some deadlines set that if certain things were in place then they wouldn’t necessarily impinge on that salary cap the following year, so that’s one of the reasons why we looked at those players individually.”


Photo: TWTD



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trncbluearmy added 11:06 - Jul 12
We reap what we sow, because of his and others neglect and incompetence we are were we are.
The cap, especially now, makes perfect sense.
3

Saxonblue74 added 11:20 - Jul 12
Can't see how this will work without destroying lge1 down. Surely a cap would have to be applied to prem and Championship football to keep the game as a whole on an even footing? The premier league is already overloaded with "squad" players who never kick a ball but are happy to take their huge, over inflated salaries. Something needs to be done to change the financial situation in the game but it has to start at the top. I heard Paul Merson on TV last week talking about Arsenal and Abameyang, "they MUST give him whatever he asks for to keep him"! (apparently £350k a week was not enough). That kind of player power is exactly what has been slowly destroying the game from the top down for years.
22

Shawsey added 12:46 - Jul 12
They would be lucky to get a couple of grand a week at best. Shambles the lot of um. Get the kids in and a few journey men to help them out. Not many of this current crop are worthy of a Town shirt. New season, new start. If only we didn't give the pr1ck a 5 year contract. Whata mistakea to makea.
0

ArnieM added 13:17 - Jul 12
Leagues One and Two ( essentially the old divisions 3&4), are for small clubs. Small in terms of turnover, fan base, and stadiums. Ipswich Town may well currently be in this Division but we really do not “belong” at this level. We are a Championship outfit with a potential to dabble in Premier League, (just like scum ).

All decisions taken by the EFL for leagues one & two in no way are geared to benefit Clubs of our size / stature at this level and will only benefit the small clubs.
6

Saxonblue74 added 13:32 - Jul 12
Arnie, I kind of agree with you but that said clubs should not be confined to their league position. There has to be an opportunity for progression.
5

blues1 added 15:19 - Jul 12
Trncbluearmy. Like many I dare say, you dont actually realise that, if we were still in the championship right now, our wage bill would have meant wed be in administration by now, after this pandemic. However, with this salary cap likely to come in, albeit with a years grace, it means that this next season, it is imperative we get back up.
0

Michael101 added 16:04 - Jul 12
if the shower of shy#a that call themselves players can't get out of the third division then they don't deserve £250 between them.
0

TimmyH added 16:09 - Jul 12
Totally agree with Saxonblue...has to start at the top!, sadly though the Premiership led by SKY and it's billionaire owners are the one's that are ruining the game, and the many many pundits (SKY monkeys) that cannot see the wood for the trees as they're on the gravy train as well.
9

trncbluearmy added 17:53 - Jul 12
Blues1
How have you work that out?,
I suspect all the staff including players would have been furloughed,how have convinced yourself that ITFC would have gone into administration?
2

Dissboyitfc added 19:46 - Jul 12
In 1961 Jimmy Hill was instrumental in removing the wage cap which was set at 20 pound a week for professional players. Something needs to be done but there has to be wage cap in the top 2 divisions as well!

The inequality in the game regarding the distribution of money is just wrong, thats what needs looking at!
4

Dissboyitfc added 21:08 - Jul 12
Well perhaps the players can pull their fingers out and get us promoted, we should even be apart of this conversation really, should we!
0

ArnieM added 21:22 - Jul 12
SaxonBlue74. Thanks you for your response. I think perhaps maybe I have confused you with my post. I was in no way intending it to come across that I believe smaller clubs should remain at the lower levels. This was not my intended message.

I think it would be fabulous if smaller clubs could climb the divisions and grow in stature. My post was meant to highlight that the decisions the EFL make (guided by the majority of clubs in these two divisions, but who are generally the smaller clubs), are going to reflect the needs of those smaller clubs, as opposed to the few large clubs that have been relegated. Majority rules but it won’t serve the needs or capabilities of those larger cubs.

The best solution to our problem is to get promotion this coming season. 😁👍
3

peaky69 added 01:03 - Jul 13
Here's a few thoughts:
1. if you cap anything in the PL the big clubs will walk and create a super league.
2. if you are serious about capping, check out abroad. Australia, the US have league's which effectively manage a salary cap at the elite level down.
3. players are only getting a proportion of what, TV essentially, is wiling to pay. TV don't want L1 and L2 on their stations. That's why the top 2 leagues get all the money. unless clubs and players in those leagues are prepared to give some of "their" money to the lower leagues the salary caps being talked about will only further the divide.
2

Ipswichtown4life added 02:11 - Jul 13
You know what, if the Salary cap does come in, it would get rid of the has beens that's in our team. Chambers.. How you get a wage like you do every week is a joke.. Great servant but your legs are gone..

Skuse.. You're brown bread I'm afraid..

John useless piece of... Nolan.. How are you a professional player ill never know.
-1

Carberry added 12:31 - Jul 16
We are £100m in debt, aren't investing in players yet a salary cap doesn't appeal. How does that work? Of course if there is one it puts all the responsibility on the manager and coaches to find and nurture talent into a winning team. That's just not going to happen with what we have running the club.
0

Barty added 08:21 - Jul 17
On last season performances none of them deserve more than £1000 per week.
0

JewellintheTown added 10:51 - Jul 20
Salary caps for L1 and L2 benefit only the top two leagues - prem and champ. They're designed to keep the lower clubs as squad feeders to the top two divisions - a football elite class system. Greed and dishonesty has destroyed any respect for the "beautiful game". If the impact of Coronavirus hasn't killed their greed off, nothing will. Only way the top two divisions will listen is if the fans stop paying, but they wont because of their blinkered and peer pressured loyalty to believing they support their club and not football in general.
0


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