Pressure on Town to get out of League One increases as salary cap looms
- Credit: Archant
The importance of Ipswich Town getting out of League One next season has been amplified by news that the division looks set to introduce a salary cap.
At Monday’s EFL AGM, clubs voted to lower the threshold needed to pass a vote on the issue, with it now standing at two thirds of a division, having previously been 75%.
That paves the way for a vote on salary caps in Leagues One and Two in the coming weeks, with the ‘majority of clubs’ said to be behind plans currently being drawn up.
In League One, a squad budget of £2.5m looks set to be agreed, while in League Two it will be £1.25m. Both figures include bonuses and other clauses.
Restrictions on squad sizes also look set to be introduced, with clubs limited to 20 senior professionals. Players under the age of 21 will be exempt from the salary cap.
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The Championship also looks set to discuss a salary cap in due course, although they are not as far down the line as Leagues One and Two.
If backed, it’s not clear when the new rules would come into force, but it sees unlikely to be in place for next season - whenever that might be.
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But such a rule will only heighten the pressure on Town to get out of League One next season, or risk being cut adrift from the top two divisions, which are increasingly looking like Premier Leagues 1 and 2.
Town’s wage bill for their last Championship season was just under £19 million, with around £12m of that going on player salaries. Even allowing for the 50% pay cuts many players had to take because of relegation, the Blues would still be way above any £2.5m salary cap.
Town owner Marcus Evans has previously been an outspoken critic of Financial Fair Play rules, saying they simply hadn’t worked in the Championship, leaving an uneven playing field in terms of wages.
A recent leaked survey revealed that the average wage for clubs’ highest earners in the Championship is £29,000 a week, which drops to just under £5,000 in League One.
The top-paid player in the second tier is apparently trousering £68,000 a week, with League One’s top earner on £15,600.