Evans: We Will Accept and Deal With Salary Cap
Saturday, 8th Aug 2020 14:15
Owner Marcus Evans says the Blues will accept and deal with the League One salary cap despite being one of the sides to vote against its implementation. Town would appear to be left little scope for additional signings this summer even with the season ahead one of transition.
Yesterday, the £2.5 million cap was narrowly passed by one vote with 16 clubs - the required two-thirds majority - voting in favour and seven against, while one abstained.
“I have said before that I think football needs to press the reset button in terms of some of the financial aspects of the game,” Evans told the club site.
“But we were against the introduction of the salary cap in this format at this stage. It restricts our reinvestment considerably.
“However, a decision has been made by the majority of clubs. We accept it and will deal with it going forward.
“All clubs are in the same boat so wages are going to be facing a downward pressure. It will take a little time for agents and players to realise that clubs just can’t pay more and start to accept the reality of these new levels.”
The £2.5 million covers basic wages, taxes, bonuses, image rights, agents’ fees and other fees and expenses paid directly or indirectly to all registered players.
Under the new regulations, squads will be limited to 22 players aged 21 or over for 2020/21, reducing to to 20 players from 2021/22. Clubs must deliver their named squad to the EFL at the end of the transfer window. New Year's Day is the cut-off date for players turning 21 so Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell, who were 21 in January and May respectively don't count as senior players.
Town currently have 20 players deemed 21, including full-back Barry Cotter, striker Aaron Drinan and keeper Harry Wright.
In the season ahead players under contract prior to yesterday will be treated as if they are earning an annual wage of £113,000 - significantly higher than previously understood - and then £125,000 - currently the average League One wage - if they are still under those existing terms in 2021/22.
All the 20 players aged over 21 except the likes of Cotter, Drinan and Wright will be on wages higher than £113,000 and when totalled their salaries already exceed £2 million, even without sundries such as agents' fees, and it appears the Blues have little room for manoeuvre when it comes to adding players aged over 21 to their squad this summer with manager Paul Lambert understood to want to make three or four signings.
Some players may move on permanently freeing up some space on the wage bill, defender Toto Nsiala seems likely to depart for example, while the salaries of players who go out on loan are removed from Town's total.
The Blues are among the League One clubs who will be most hit by the cap, although more so in future seasons than during the transition stage.
In their last season in the Championship their 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, the current player wage bill is almost certainly still more than double, perhaps three times higher than the limit and will be one of the largest in the division.
Following yesterday's vote the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) described the move as “unlawful and unenforceable” and has issued a notice of arbitration on the EFL.
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