Salary cap talks hit deadlock and could be put back a year

The EFL is set to vote on a League One salary cap today. Photo: Archant/PA

The EFL is set to vote on a League One salary cap today. Photo: Archant/PA - Credit: Archant

Discussions surrounding the introduction of a salary cap in League One have hit an impasse meaning the new rules might not be imposed for another year.

That’s according to a report by the Daily Mirror today, who say that EFL members are due to return to the negotiating table next week.

The huge financial impact of the coronavirus crisis has hit lower leagues clubs hardest and sparked discussions about immediately introducing limits on pay and squad sizes.

A flat cap of £2.5m at League One level and £1.25m for League Two has been put forward by the EFL, who are keen to have the new system in place before the 2020/21 season starts – most likely on September 12 – with any club which falls foul of the spending limits facing heavy fines or potentially points reduction.

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Ipswich Town, Sunderland and Portsmouth, all of whom had average attendances in excess of 15,000 last season, would be hardest hit by the rule change given the size of their current budgets. The same would be true for the likes of Charlton, Huddersfield, Birmingham, Middlesbrough or Stoke were any of them fall through the Championship trap door over the coming weeks.

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Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin has called the proposals a ‘disgrace’, while Sunderland chief executive Jim Rodwell says they ‘oversimplify the sustainability issue’.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said the proposals are ‘not fair on those innovative, well-managed clubs who are prepared to have a go within their means’.

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It’s understood that there is plenty of support for the proposals among EFL member clubs though and it may only need a two thirds majority vote to pass them.

Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell said: “We would probably vote for it as it is probably the best time for football to try and be seen to be controlling costs in League One. However we do have some reservations, for example with clubs who budget well below the threshold and could actually push their budget and spend £2.5m even though they may not be able to afford it.”

Peterborough’s director of football Barry Fry said: “We are okay with the idea of a salary cap as it doesn’t include the wages of players under 21. We could certainly work with the £2.5 million figure.”

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