The English Football League and the Professional Footballer’s Association appear to be on a collision course after clubs in Leagues One and Two voted in favour of the introduction of salary caps.
Fixed caps of £2.5 million for League One clubs and £1.5 million for League Two have been approved after a vote by clubs on Friday.
The EFL said the caps would take effect immediately and hoped it would help to get inflation under control and bring greater financial stability after the Covid-19 crisis.
It is understood that 22 League Two clubs voted in favour, with only two against. In League One, 16 clubs voted for the introduction of salary caps with eight against the idea.
As well as basic wages and taxes, the cap on total salary spending includes bonuses, image rights and agents’ fees, while payments earned from successful cup runs or promotions will be excluded.
Clubs in League One and League Two who exceed the cap by up to 5% will face a financial penalty. Further breaches would be referred to a disciplinary commission.
This news in my opinion is most welcome to lower league football. It has been known for a long time that some clubs in the lower leagues have clearly been spending well outside of their budget.
Take the financial troubles of Wigan and plenty of others who have been clearly functioning well out of their means. Clubs have been offering players silly money just to entice them to play at this level of football.
Fine, if you have the funds to back up this promise, not fine if you have not got the money available. This isn’t a case of players demanding silly money, it is their agents who are very much at fault.
In the current economic situation, we all live in at present, football is no different to any other industry. It will will have to tighten its belt otherwise there will be some clubs who could fall by the wayside.
Introducing salary caps makes financial sense. Just working out the maths as an example for League Two. An average squad of 25 will see a player on around £60,000 per year. Sounds pretty decent to me for a footballer. Considering most of the working population will lose their jobs or be working on a reduced salary for the time being.
By putting in to place a cap for clubs in Leagues One and Two, surely this should be extended to not only the Championship but also down to non-league level.
By bringing in salary caps you will always run the risk of losing some of the best players to other leagues, but to compensate this it will then help and bring through younger players with a chance of regular first team football and will give them a chance to move up the football ladder quickly.
However, there will always be doubts that some clubs will get around the salary cap system, like Saracens have been found guilty of in Premiership Rugby. Of course, there is the chance that will happen, but without some form of salary cap, quite simply Football will struggle to survive in the years to come.