Ward alarmed by future new ruling

COLCHESTER United and Scunthorpe United, who meet at Glanford Park this afternoon, were playing together in the Championship just four seasons ago.

COLCHESTER United and Scunthorpe United, who meet at Glanford Park this afternoon, were playing together in the Championship just four seasons ago.

But a future new rule, whereby League One and League Two clubs will only be permitted to spend up to 55% of their turnover on players’ wages, looks like hindering the chances of either club returning to the second tier in years to come.

The U’s average home crowds, hovering around the 4,000 mark, would limit the club’s competitiveness in the transfer market, while Iron’s average gate of below 5,000 at Glanford Park will have a similar effect.

The 72 Football League clubs voted in favour of adopting UEFA’s financial fair-play system over the summer, mainly in response to the increasing levels of debt in the game, and the decrease in revenue from television.


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The rule is set to come into force for the start of the 2012-13 season.

Manager John Ward believes that clubs with a smaller turnover and smaller attendances, like the U’s, will suffer.

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“The Football League have made regulations, so that you can only pay a certain amount of your income to your players,” explained Ward.

“And when you take into account we pay part of our income to the Football League as well, then that is not going to be extremely high at our football club.

“We only had just over 3,000 (against Oldham) last weekend, and our record over the last 30 years show that you are not going to get over 5,000 people too often.

“So we are going to have to cut our cloth accordingly because the rules state that. It’s not because we want to, but because we have to. We have to prepare for that, and we need to do that now.

“I think you’ll find that (chairman) Robbie (Cowling) will tell you he’s a little aggrieved that people are telling him how to spend his money!

“However, rules are rules and he is going to have to follow them like we all do.

“If the size of our attendances now figures in the size of our squad, and the quality of our squad, then it’s going to be awkward,” added Ward.

Meanwhile, Ward is set to name the same side that crushed Oldham 4-1 last weekend, for this afternoon’s visit to Scunthorpe.

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