Lambert on Salary Cap: Players Will Be in a For a Rude Awakening
Friday, 29th Jan 2021 13:30
Blues manager Paul Lambert believes players will in for a rude awakening this summer when the impact of the League One salary cap begins to have a greater effect on wages.
The cap was introduced last August meaning clubs in the third tier are limited to a wage bill of £2.5 million for their senior players, those aged over 21.
This season their squad of senior players has been limited to 22 but from next year it will be down to 20.
Contracts signed prior to the introduction of the cap will continue to be treated at a lower level, as they have been this season, as if they worth £113,000 per annum, although at a higher figure of £125,000 in 2021/22.
However, with fewer players whose deals were agreed prior to last summer, the Blues - assuming they’re still in League One - will have limited cash to put towards new terms for squad members who are out of contract at the end of this season or any close season senior signings.
The Blues have 26 players out of contract this summer, 18 of them who fit in the senior player bracket.
Skipper Luke Chambers heads the list, joined by Cole Skuse, Stephen Ward, Emyr Huws, Freddie Sears, Kayden Jackson, Teddy Bishop, Alan Judge, Toto Nsiala, Janoi Donacien, James Wilson, Gwion Edwards, Aaron Drinan, Tristan Nydam, Barry Cotter, Ben Morris, Ben Folami and Harry Wright.
Town have previously confirmed they have an option to keep Skuse, Ward, Sears, Bishop, Judge, Nsiala, Donacien, Wilson, Nydam, Morris and Folami for a further season should they choose to do so.
Among those under-21, whose contracts don’t count towards the salary cap, Idris El Mizouni, Liam Gibbs, Bailey Clements, Levi Andoh, Adam Przybek, Bert White, Kai Brown, Zak Brown and Tommy Hughes all have deals which are coming to an end, although with the club having an option to keep them all aside from Gibbs for a further year.
As previously reported, Town have offered a new extended contract to Gibbs and will almost certainly look to do the same with El Mizouni among others.
Town took up the additional year’s option on Gwion Edwards’s current contract in May - as they did with young keeper Harry Wright - meaning the winger will be out of contract come the end of the campaign and speaking on Tuesday the Welshman said that as yet there have been no talks regarding a new deal.
In the circumstances, with the Blues still eyeing a return to the Championship and the general uncertainty surrounding football finance, that's hardly surprising.
Asked about that situation and the potential effect of the salary cap going forward, Lambert said: “I think this pandemic has just ripped the backside out of everything. Salary cap, players will be in a for a really rude awakening with what happens because the money’s not going to be there anymore. I think everybody’s going to have to get their heads round that.
“I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet because nobody’s been through it. It’s a really unfortunate thing, this salary cap.
“Life’s unfortunate at the minute with what’s going on, I guess that’s the way of the world, the finances aren’t going to be the same, that’s 100 per cent, that’s for sure.”
Lambert knows that promotion to the Championship would wipe away those issues among others and insists that the Blues are still in the running, despite currently sitting in 10th.
“That would solve so many problems, without a shadow of a doubt that would solve so many problems,” he said.
“There’s still more than halfway to go, there’s a helluva lot of football to be played, there are going to be a lot of twists and turns and we have to put a run on where we’re always going to be always going to be round about that mark to get out of the league.
“It’s not given, you have to work your backside off to get into that. But the salary cap, it certainly hinders the bigger clubs [in League One].”
Photo: Matchday Images
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