All posts by 24/7 Football

Should Salary caps be introduced in the English Leagues?

In the current economic situation, sport and football clubs in general are having to tighten their belts, like they have not had to do so ever before.

Recently FIFA President Gianni Infantino reportedly spoke out about this problem by saying that there may well be a need to introduce salary caps in post Covid football.

The curtailment of  some leagues along with the absence of paying spectators will certainly have far reaching effects on all clubs, bar the biggest clubs worldwide, and Infantino now feels that this is the time for the game to take a step back and seriously reflect on this growing concern.

“I heard some interesting proposals on a wide range of topics.” Infantino said.

“From salary caps to transfer fee caps, to the possible obligation of governing bodies to contribute to a reserve fund which can be of assistant in hours of need such as now.”

He also promised to look into the amount of matches top players are asked to play each season. But surely it was FIFA after all who are mainly responsible for the extreme demands on their players. They for one are the only ones who brought on this problem.

Surely at some point in the coming months there must be a situation where lower wages will have to happen at every single Premiership club. Days of players reportedly earning around 15 million per year will end.

Another possibility could well be a gradual phasing out of the transfer fee system, but the most likely way forward in my opinion would be to bring in a salary cap in all leagues in English football including non-league level as well.

I am sure this would certainly become unpopular with the cream at the top of the Premier League for now, but if a salary cap was introduced it would give every side in their appropriate league the chance to become more competitive.

The likes of the Liverpools, Man. City’s. Chelsea’s and Man Utd’s would suffer but by bringing in a salary cap this would give other sides a much better chance of aiming for a top six finish.

If this idea was introduced into football at all levels it will always be open to some sides breaking the cap rule, which has happened recently in Rugby Union with Saracens being punished for their misdemeanour’s, but I’m sure this would only amount to a handful at most.

It would also see the end of excessive spending by most clubs, and in so doing secure their chances of surviving in the crazy world of football for many a year to come.

Article Written by Peter Moore

Chelsea look set to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig

Although Liverpool are within touching distance of lifting the Premiership, they appear to have lost out in signing the highly rated striker Timo Werner.

Chelsea look to have beaten the Merseyside club to the race to sign the RB Leipzig star player. The 24-year-year-old has agreed in principal to sign for the London side after Chelsea agreed to activate Werner’s £49 million release clause.

Jurgen Klopp has been a long-time admirer of the forward and had a conversation with him back in April, in which he expressed the financial implications of coronavirus rendered it hard for the club to lay out any huge outlays.

With his clause running out on the 15thJune, it was inevitable that the Bundesliga side would lose their key player to one of the Premiership giants.

Sources in Germany have indicated that Werner’s salary will be around £16 million a year, with the German looking to earn around £200,000 a week. Werner, who has netted 32 times this season is guaranteed plenty of minutes at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampard rebuilding the club, he appears to be the ideal fit for the London outfit.

Werner, who became VFB Stuttgart’s youngest player ever to represent the club and the clubs youngest ever goalscorer, had originally indicated his preference to move to Premier League leaders Liverpool, but they were unwilling to pay the release clause.

On paper Werner has made the right decision to join Lampard’s outfit, as he will be guaranteed plenty of games at Chelsea. At Liverpool, you would feel it would be difficult for him to get regular minutes under Klopp, unless either one of Salah, Mane or Firmino got injured or were rested.

The Premier League will certainly welcome the addition of this wonderful talent. The only small doubt remains, can he make the big step up from the Bundesliga to the Premiership. Certainly, Chelsea think so.

Article written by Peter Moore

Football desperate for bail out

Whilst the welcoming news recently that the Premier League will be back on our screens shortly now is the time to spare a thought for the clubs in the lower levels of football, most of which are struggling financially in this current climate.

The Premier League is under increasing pressure to explain how it will deliver the Government’s call to share the financial benefits of Project Restart through the entire football family.

In his announcement on Saturday, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described this distribution of income as part of the challenges he had set elite football, but so far little detail has been forthcoming.
The Premier League is already committed to solidarity payments to the rest of the professional pyramid, which have been advanced for this summer. But according to the Daily Telegraph, no new money has been forthcoming as a result of the Premier League restarting.
With Premier League clubs failing to reach any definite decision with there players on wage deferrals or cuts, understandably they desperately want the league to resume as soon as possible to minimise any rebate to the broadcasters.
It is estimated that Premier League clubs keep around 93 percent of their broadcast income. A huge amount considering the vast sum of money that Sky, BT and Amazon Prime pay for this service.
Football League chairman Rick Parry recently said,

“I would love to see money trickling down, but I’ve not seen any evidence of it yet”. The question to ask at this moment in time is are we really going to see any money work its way down the lower leagues from the Premiership very soon.

Charlie Dobres, a director at non-league Lewes said “

For most clubs outside the Premier League, COVID is potentially an extinction-level event. Oliver Dowden referred to the entire football family. Family is such a good analogy because families look after each other.”

Paul Doswell, Manager of Havant in the National League South said

“the reality of the Premier League’s advance solidarity payments was that his club received £8,500 a few months earlier than it was due. An amount of money that wouldn’t last a month in the non-league world.
The worrying fear for an awful lot of lower league sides is without a big bailout from the Premier League boys, there is a very strong threat that a few could well go out of business sooner rather than later.

Article written by Peter Moore

When we met Gary Lewin

Gary Lewin has been involved in football virtually all his life. He was head physio at Arsenal for 22 years along with a stint as England physio.

Lewin has recently opened a brand-new practice in Hainault, but like all businesses’ in this current climate, he has found it tough.

“It’s been difficult really,” he said. We recently opened up a clinic with my cousin Colin- Lewin Sports Injury Clinic- which we opened in October 2019 and it was going very well until March and then unfortunately due to the lockdown we had to close down, but the good news is this week we are preparing to open fully as of June 8th. So, we are getting all our PPE equipment ready and our risk assessments are done and hopefully, we will be up and running next week.”

Lewin has spent most of his life at Arsenal and considers himself to be one lucky man.

“As a physio, I’ve been very lucky as I actually started at Arsenal as a player.” He said. “I signed as an apprenticeship at 16 and was there as a player for four years before I got released and went on to play at Barnet for a year and then I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Guys Hospital physiotherapy, and whilst I was training there I was doing work with the Arsenal reserve team and in 1986 I joined and qualified as a first-team physio for Arsenal.”

“I always wanted to be a footballer,” he added. “But that dream was taken away from me as I wasn’t good enough, so I had to decide what else to do. At the time I was debating whether to go into the police force or a PE teacher, but there was a physio at Arsenal called Fred Street who said to me at the time why don’t you go into physiotherapy. At Guys Hospital I got very interested in it and I went back again and thought this will be a great career for me.”

Lewin is normally the man players look towards getting excellent treatment, but he remembers one incident in particular when he himself needed treatment in a World Cup tournament in 2014 in Brazil.

“They had put astroturf in the dugout area and they watered the pitch and when we equalised through Daniel Sturridge we all jumped up to celebrate and as I went to go and get the drink containers I slipped and my foot went into a small ridge between the grass and the astroturf. Unfortunately, my body went one way and I went the other and I suffered a fracture to my left ankle. Unfortunately, I had to fly home and the team had to follow me home a week later because we lost a game to Italy and then Uruguay, which meant we were knocked out.”

The Premier League is set to return in the middle of June. Gary welcomes this news but is still cautious that there may be the risk of players getting injured.

“After having such a long lay off and without having any competitive or friendly pre-season matches, players literally are going straight back into competitions,” he said. “I do expect a small increase in the number of injuries, that can be tempered by two or three factors. The first being without the crowd there will it still be the same competitive edge, plus it’s a level playing field as every team is starting at the same level and so they are all going to tire at the same rate. I just hope that there will be no significant injuries.”

Lewin certainly feels that the time is right now for the return of the Premier League.

“They are reducing the risk of players catching it to a minimum and they are doing all that they can to get it back on.” he said.

Article written by Peter Moore

Listen to the Interview with Gary Lewin by clicking below


I never ever thought that one day it would come down to me to put down some words about the Bundesliga.
A league that in the past I had followed only briefly and considered to be an average league aside from a couple of clubs, mainly Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. But for the past couple of weekends I must be honest and say I am thoroughly enjoying my fix of German football.
Yes, it took a little while to get used to games being played on par to a reserve match in English football as regards atmosphere, and looking up and seeing no fans present was certainly strange alongside the occasional sound of piped music blasting into a near-deserted stadium felt weird, but after two weeks this is now not a distraction to me as I can thoroughly enjoy the action on the pitch.
Both sets of players are still showing the high intensity and commitment of playing a game in 90 minutes, even though there are no fans of either side to offer encouragement or show anger in their teams’ performance.
The Bundesliga has certainly shown the way forward for football behind closed doors. Despite some criticism from both fans and politicians in Germany, the return of the league has been a huge success for clubs and broadcasters.
The league was under fire from politicians, journalists and most importantly fans for weeks, but by now all three of the sectors have certainly changed their mind and are thriving in their regular dose of the wonderful game.
Their main fears understandably were about Covid-19 and the implications it could have on any players getting tested positive and the eventual outcome, but as it stands at the moment almost all tests from players and staff have come back negative. Dynamo Dresden have been the only team to date from both the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 who had to quarantine because of multiple infections.
The only real problem the DFL has had to deal with since the restart has been with some teams momentarily forgetting about the new guidelines of social distance with goal celebrations. Hertha Berlin were the first team who clearly had forgotten about this important point after celebrating their goals against Hoffenheim with some hugging, high fiving and shoulder tapping, which certainly caused some concern amongst people.
However, since the opening weekend teams have now adapted to the customary way of celebrating a goal by social distancing with a fist pump and a smile. Yes, this is going to be the way forward for celebrations in the future.
The fitness levels of all teams somewhat surprisingly has been good, considering most players would off not trained properly for almost eight weeks.
Without crowds, home advantage has been kicked in to touch with only a handful of sides registering a victory on their own patch.
The actual playing time is higher than in matches with crowds because of shorter interruptions, with players not rolling around or falling about performing to crowds this has made the game so much more watchable.
Ratings for the host broadcaster Sky Germany have been record-breaking with over six million tuning in on the opening weekend. The UK broadcaster BT Sport are also showing very encouraging opening viewing figures as well, although I expect that this will change once the Premier League restarts in a few weeks.
Overall, it must be said that the Bundesliga has led the way forward for the watching football fan. Now it’s up to all other leagues to follow suit and put the game of football back into the comfort of our armchairs, for the time being at least.

Article Written by Peter Moore