Salary Cap Vote Delayed
Friday, 24th Jul 2020 13:10
The EFL are reported to have put back the vote on the League One and Two salary cap proposal until August 6th.
A cap of £2.5 million at League One level - a £1,300 weekly wage - and £1.25 million for League Two have been proposed by the EFL with the clubs expected vote on it next week. A report last week suggested the cap's introduction could be delayed until next year.
According to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, the vote has now been delayed until August 6th. And as a result there has been a change in the cut-off point for contracts which will count towards the cap in their entirety.
Previously player contracts signed prior to July 29th would only count as a £1,300-a-week wage rather than at their true level, the deadline having initially been June 30th. That date has also now changed to August 6th.
“They’ve actually made the salary cap essentially irrelevant for at least next season if not beyond, however, as we are active in the market this move does enhance our potential options somewhat,” Bradford City director of communications and commercial Ryan Sparks told the Telegraph and Argus.
“But it has created a loophole which clearly undermines the whole purpose of the salary cap, in my opinion.
“It appears the EFL are making up the process as they go along and that’s forcing clubs to react to an ever-changing picture. But this may well have come as a result of the pressure we and others have added.
“We’ve spoken to other clubs in League Two at length and there is outrage at this late change to the proposal, which compromises planning.
“There are clubs that have already begun recruiting in this division that weren’t aware this was going to happen, ourselves included.
“Those clubs have will have taken some solace from believing players signed after June 30th - by their rivals - would count fully against the proposed salary cap, meaning they would be competing on a relatively level-playing field.
“If you play your cards right, though, the salary cap would not affect you for several years if you signed long-term contracts on certain players.”
Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has also spoken about the salary cap having come up with an alternative suggestion despite the EFL’s initiative working positively for his club.
“I delivered a document about three months ago with my proposals. I would base the cap on a club’s turnover so the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth could spend more based on what they generate. That would be a fairer way,” MacAnthony said on his Hard Truths podcast.
“For instance Posh generate around £6 million a year so we would be capped at a lower figure than Portsmouth who attract 16,000 fans to every home game and generate much more. You should be rewarded for running a successful business like Portsmouth.
“But my first thought when I heard the EFL proposal was that it would benefit us. It would drag the bigger clubs down a bit as there would have to be a lot of revision of players’ contracts.
“We will cope because players under the age of 21 don’t count towards the figure, and we have a lot of them, whereas some of the bigger payers who have players on eight or nine-grand a week could have a problem.
“We will be voting for the proposal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some amendments made.”
He added: “It’s clear when there are clubs who can’t find £200k-300k to fund the completion of a season that salary caps are needed.
“There could still be a rocky road ahead for a couple of seasons for some clubs, but no-one will go bust because of this. A salary cap may even deliver some fairytales.”
It’s understood the wages of players aged under 21 wouldn’t count towards the cap. Squad sizes would ultimately be limited to 20 senior players aged over 21 after a period of transition with eight of those homegrown.
Players’ basic wage, bonuses, image rights and other elements of their contract are believed to be covered by the cap.
Fines or points deductions would be issued for clubs breaking the limits. It’s proposed that for every £1 a club strays over the cap they would be fined £3 with potential transgressions judged by an independent disciplinary commission.
Town would be one of the League One clubs most affected by a cap at £2.5 million. 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.
Speaking to TWTD a fortnight ago, general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill said he could see why the proposals had been put in place but is against them, as are the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
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