'It did nothing' - CEO of Town's promotion rivals welcomes news that salary cap has been scrapped

Ipswich Town will face Crawley, Gillingham and the Arsenal academy side in the EFL Trophy group stag

The salary cap for League One and League Two has been scrapped - Credit: Archant

The CEO of one of Ipswich Town's promotion rivals has welcomed news that the EFL salary cap for Leagues One and Two has been scrapped.

The caps were controversially voted through by third and fourth-tier clubs in August last year and were set at £2.5million per club in League One and £1.5million per club in League Two.

At the time, Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans confirmed that the Blues were one of a handful of clubs who voted against it, as the motion passed by a margin of a single vote.

And the Professional Footballers' Association immediately challenged the caps, saying they were "unlawful and unenforceable", and an independent panel has now forced the caps to be withdrawn.

The panel has now ruled that the EFL was in breach of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee's (PFNCC) constitution in introducing the caps.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans voted against the salary cap - Credit: Steve Waller

The PFA said it looked forward to working with the EFL on "reasonable and proportionate cost control measures for the future".

Reacting to the news, Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin said the salary cap had been a "blunt instrument" and paid no regard to the differing size of clubs in the third and fourth tiers.

"We have been the biggest advocates of self-sustainability in football clubs but the salary cap in its current form just levelled the playing field, it did nothing in our opinion to address sustainability within clubs," he told the PA news agency.

"You have smaller clubs where the owners would still need to be putting in £1million-plus to get to the salary cap, but you had some of the larger clubs that could afford a lot more but were not able to put that on to the pitch.

"We always said that was wrong, it went away from the model of self-sustainability which we believe is what we should be working for."

The news should help the likes of Town and Pompey - clubs with more resources than many in League One. As it stood, Town were right at the limit of salary cap rules, and had to bring in players under the age of 21 - whose wages don't count towards the cap - on transfer deadline day.

Ipswich Town signed Troy Parrott (main) and Luke Matheson (inset) on transfer deadline day

Because of the salary cap, Ipswich Town couldn't bring in senior players on deadline day - so they signed talented youngsters Luke Matheson, inset, and Troy Parrott - Credit: ITFC/PA

Most Read

Last August, Town owner Evans said: “I have said before that I think football needs to press the re-set button in terms of some of the financial aspects of the game 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."

Of the decision today, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor added: "We were disappointed that the EFL decided to introduce salary cap proposals, which were voted through without the proper consideration or consultation with the PFNCC.

"As a result, in August 2020, the PFA served a notice of arbitration on the EFL stating the introduction of the new rules were in breach of obligations under the constitution of the PFNCC. We are pleased the panel upheld the PFA's claim."

The EFL saw the caps as an essential part of ensuring clubs lived within their means, particularly given the pressure placed on revenues by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league's own statement confirmed that following the decision, the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) regulations that were in effect during the 2019-20 season had been reinstated.

An EFL statement added: "The EFL will now discuss the matter of financial controls and implications linked to this outcome at a series of meetings with its member clubs later this week."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter