EFL Proposing Salary Caps

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So the Daily Mail have reported today that hard salary caps are on the table for all three divisions. It's widely expected that Leagues 1 and 2 are unanimously in favour of them whilst the Championship clubs are doing their best to resist a hard cap of £20 million. I think they'll end up with something similar to what we currently have but with more stringent controls on bankrolling.

Figures mooted are £3.3 million for a League One club's annual player wage bill and £1.9 million for a League Two club's annual player wage bill.

I think at least 75% of our league would easily comply with the cap given the current state of their squads. But it's badly needed and has been needed for a long time. The soft cap has done more good than harm and stemmed the number of administrations at our level from the dark days of the 2000s, but it's so often prone to abuse from clubs deciding to go for it on modest gates or the bankrolled non leaguers who spend spend spend on anything but infrastructure. A hard cap would force the NL to adopt measures as well which would potentially make any relegation into non league far less daunting for us L2 clubs.

Other proposals to be presented include:

Instant 3 point penalty for unpaid wages per month.

Mandatory business plans being presented to league auditors including expected personnel changes and expected turnover for the upcoming season. Any major discrepancies with forecasts and actual income could be subjected to significant punishment. This is just like what they do in France and Germany with all professional clubs.


Good proposals which are badly needed in the game to keep our clubs sustainable, and it appears the L1 and L2 club chairmen are almost unanimously agreed on this. As ever though, it's that basket case of a division above League One that won't like it...
 

Conker

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#2
I’d absolutely love a wage cap, only problem is getting it right so you can pay enough to attract the right players while it not being excessively large.

How will it work if a L1 club gets relegated? Will players have to take the appropriate cut to make the new limit? £1.9m seems a tad low for me, and I’m not just looking at it from a Mansfield perspective where we clearly spend more than that.
 
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I’d absolutely love a wage cap, only problem is getting it right so you can pay enough to attract the right players while it not being excessively large.

How will it work if a L1 club gets relegated? Will players have to take the appropriate cut to make the new limit? £1.9m seems a tad low for me, and I’m not just looking at it from a Mansfield perspective where we clearly spend more than that.
Will presume that enforced wage rises and drops will be written into contracts at EFL level. They are most of the time anyway. The remainder of our squad got a 25% pay cut when we were relegated from League One in 2016 as was club policy. Some choose not to put cuts into the contracts but they could be compulsory once this reform is introduced. It'll work well at our level anyway given most experienced pros are on 2 year contracts with some being on 3.

I think current contracts would continue to be observed. There's no plans to implement this cap until the start of 2021-22. But future contracts given this calendar year may be given with a view to complying with the upcoming cap. No two doubts about it, this is going to be implemented. But the final figures may change slightly.
 

Chris FGR

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#4
Big thumbs up from me. Hope this gets implemented asap.

No league 2 club should be spending more then £1.5m on wages imo.
 

Indian Dan

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Takes your chances with paying more for better players but having a small squad or a larger squad with mostly kids/shite.

Let clubs spend what they want - but demand yearly accounts are independently audited and have checks and balances in place.

Capping wages is just going to produce a host of shite clubs playing shite football and with shite prospects.

Why should, say, Plymouth with a big fan base, producing larger incomes be reduced to the level of, for example, Stevenage.

If wages are to be capped it should be done on an individual club basis dependent on their income.
 

Chris FGR

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But if there's a salary cap, why would players choose to sign for smaller clubs instead of bigger/well supported ones? You'll earn pretty much the same but be playing in front of bigger crowds in better facilities.
 

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Yeah take your chances and spend as much as you want and then when it all goes tits up then it's time for the buckets to come out. When that's not enough, and it never is, the fans can always form a new 'AFC something' team to play in the Midland League Div 4 North West Section.

Why gamble with the futures of the clubs we all love so much? And why should the fans pay for the mistakes of the board when the first thing the BOD will do when disaster strikes is to jump ship.
 
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Takes your chances with paying more for better players but having a small squad or a larger squad with mostly kids/shite.

Let clubs spend what they want - but demand yearly accounts are independently audited and have checks and balances in place.

Capping wages is just going to produce a host of shite clubs playing shite football and with shite prospects.

Why should, say, Plymouth with a big fan base, producing larger incomes be reduced to the level of, for example, Stevenage.

If wages are to be capped it should be done on an individual club basis dependent on their income.
Clubs are already capped in Leagues 1 and 2 though, but the system is prone to abuse. Just look at what Bury did to try and get round the soft cap we currently have. You've got clubs like Bristol Rovers running with over £20 million worth of debt. It has to change and it has to change now. The Telegraph last week said Bradford had to shave £1.5 million off the player wage bill just to comply with SCMP this season. That's more than probably half the league's current budgets for player wages!

A hard cap (and at the proposed level set, that's not the league average, I'd say only 4 or 5 clubs would be above it right now and even then probably not by much) would eliminate the unsustainable bankrolled non league sides who invest in the bare minimum facilities and spunk it all on daft wages in one hit. Wages will be driven down to acceptable levels in this division. And this is probably the one division out of the five national divisions which has the most parity anyway. It forces clubs to invest in infrastructure (which is below-par and outdated at a lot of clubs throughout the country) to grow their revenue streams organically rather than £4/5K a week on a striker that they can't really afford.

Nearly all of the L1 and L2 chairmen want this to happen, so it's going to happen. Some clubs at these lower levels are repeat offenders financially to the extent that they simply can't be trusted these days to operate uncapped. There'll be no requirement for all clubs to spend the full £1.9 million a year on player wages either, indeed most clubs at this level can't afford an outlay of £40,000 per week solely on player wages. So the likes of Plymouth and Bradford wouldn't lose out. In fact, as Chris says above, I think they'll get the pulling power over the moneybags sides if the moneybags sides can no longer offer £8000 a week to play for them.
 

Indian Dan

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Well, according to the latest on Sky Sports not one single club in L1 and L2 can carry on beyond May as things stand.
 

Chris FGR

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It says on Sky that there is little prospect of fans being allowed into grounds this year, if that happens could most clubs afford to actually play games? Can't see next season starting with zero gate receipts/season tickets etc.
 
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Yeah take your chances and spend as much as you want and then when it all goes tits up then it's time for the buckets to come out. When that's not enough, and it never is, the fans can always form a new 'AFC something' team to play in the Midland League Div 4 North West Section.

Why gamble with the futures of the clubs we all love so much? And why should the fans pay for the mistakes of the board when the first thing the BOD will do when disaster strikes is to jump ship.
Fans are their own worst enemies at times. Bury scenario again. Never questioned where the money came from, were all too happy to rub it in our noses, laugh at the other peasants for not being able to afford it and say they were gonna enjoy the ride. But last Summer, their luck finally ran out after many close shaves. Their Saturdays no longer spent watching the club they love. And that's the ultimate punishment I wouldn't wish on any club. Spending money doesn't guarantee success. And when the success never comes, you get Bury's, Leeds', Portsmouth's, Bolton's all over the gaff.

Even clubs at the top in an era awash with cash are too shit-scared to invest in their own infrastructure purely because of the insatiable demands of fans to "sign a fucking striker". The cap needs to hit all of global football but you just know the PL will be staunchly opposed to this. They'd much rather let clubs line European agents pockets than even think of cutting their cloth accordingly.
 
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T.A

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#12
Interesting that a club going bust the league arent arsed about changing things but as soon as the EFL profits are threatend we'll make new rules straight away. Arseholes the lot of them.
 
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Interesting that a club going bust the league arent arsed about changing things but as soon as the EFL profits are threatend we'll make new rules straight away. Arseholes the lot of them.
In fairness Rick Parry is a far more competent executive than the Emperor Nero tribute act that was Shaun Harvey. That man is responsible for the mess football finds itself in because he encouraged clubs to live the dream just so he could justify his fat bonuses and wage increases.

I'm convinced Harvey was after Scudamore's job. And when he didn't get it, he resigned. The man only knows how to chase dreams and accrue debts, as evidenced by his time at Bradford and Leeds. He simply knew nothing about the game or self-control of finances which is why he dodged the questions time and time again.
 

Conker

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I’d love to see the thinking behind £1.5m, £1.9m etc, Some clubs at this level can easily afford a £1.5m budget.

I think the current system would work well, if it was actually implemented correctly, but at the same time if a owner wants to chuck in a extra £200,000 via sponsorship I think that’s fair enough too, long as it’s not coming in via loans that could come to bite back in the future, but obviously that leaves open a billionaire to chuck in millions, so that clearly needs some regulation too.

Wages clearly need reigning in even at this level, wish the solution was easy.
 
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I’d love to see the thinking behind £1.5m, £1.9m etc, Some clubs at this level can easily afford a £1.5m budget.

I think the current system would work well, if it was actually implemented correctly, but at the same time if a owner wants to chuck in a extra £200,000 via sponsorship I think that’s fair enough too, long as it’s not coming in via loans that could come to bite back in the future, but obviously that leaves open a billionaire to chuck in millions, so that clearly needs some regulation too.

Wages clearly need reigning in even at this level, wish the solution was easy.
I always thought that was how the current SCMP system worked in the first place and that's how the likes of Salford and Fleetwood got round the cap?

With a hard cap like this (as opposed to the current soft cap) it's not necessarily supposed to be the mean or median average budget per team. I think it's going off the average wage for a League Two player being £1500 a week give or take a few quid. But at the crowds with the bigger gates or teams like yourselves where Radford is pumping money into the club, the players are more likely to be on £2000-4000 a week if they're proven players whilst lads at Morecambe and Macclesfield would be on less than a grand a week bar one or two. But a cap would instantly eliminate the daft wages like Ritchie Towell getting £8000 a week to play for Salford and no doubt Craig Conway and Darron Gibson are on similar whacks there too.

I think a cap would apply to the Top 20 highest earners on the playing staff with young pros and very low earners uncapped. Similar to how they do it in Rugby League. And £1.9 million seems a reasonable amount to cap it at. Given 20 on £1500 a week (average estimate it'll be different for all clubs I know) would be around £1.56 million for the year. Some will spend more and come close to the cap, some will spend less.

I expect teams like Bradford, Salford, Plymouth and Northampton have been over that cap for most of the season whereas yourselves and Scunthorpe have been offloading high earners in January to cut costs and Swindon were probably under it but pushed the boat out a bit to get Doyle. Apart from those, I think everyone is spending less than that £1.9 million cap figure mooted. And not all clubs will encourage themselves to spend to the cap's limit either when it's finally implemented. I'm pretty sure we're probably spending half that figure on our squad given the budget cuts we had to make last Summer when offloading experienced pros in Ray, Garratt, Raynes and Bowery who were comfortably at the top end of our player wage scale and replacing them with just two experienced pros who are probably on less given their injury issues in the past. So I feel it'd pass through at the owners AGM with very little resistance. The same would apply for League One's hard cap too.
 

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Morecambe might have the smallest budget in the division and they have a average wage of around £1200, which all considered is pretty mad, imagine what the average is at the top end :bl:

Mansfield didn’t offload players to cut costs, everyone who left is either because they wanted too or Coughlan kicked them out, or a combination, and I’m pretty certain the reason One Call Insurance and OCL Solicitors are plastered all over Field Mill is due to vast sponsorship money pouring in to make our 55% wage cap threshold higher.

I mean I imagine our highest paid player is Maynard, I’d estimate between £4,000/£5,000 which is a huge amount, but also he’s the best striker in the league and the reason we are not in a serious relegation battle with Stevenage.
 
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If Maynard didn't have that broken leg at Bristol City which ruined the prime years of his career he'd have been very successful in the Premier League. One of the best all round forwards I've ever seen at Championship level. Still knows where the goal is but was glad we didn't take a punt on him before Bury did in 2018 because knowing our luck he'd have got injured on the big wages we'd have paid him.

Imagine Towell, Conway, Gibson, Doyle, Donaldson, Maynard and Mayor will be amongst the highest paid in the league. Probably could still be able to afford 4 or 5 grand a week in a capped system if it was solely on one marquee player. Just the days of League Two teams spending £3000-£4000 a week on each of their first XI are gonna be well and truly over.
 

Chris FGR

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I would be in favour of individual clubs being allocated budget caps depending on size of gates and income with a fixed maximum for each division.

For example teams like Bradford, Plymouth and Swindon would be allowed to go up to £1.9m, whereas the likes of ourselves, Crawley, Morecambe and Stevenage would be capped at around £1m give or take.

If clubs can increase gates/commercial income then they can move to an increased budget cap the next season, or down if income decreases. Basically the more self-sufficient/profitable you are the more you're rewarded.

Any overspend would be a points deduction and then expulsion if it carries on for two seasons.
 
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What I've noticed in all levels over the years is that the increasing pressure to spend, spend, spend on player wages has led to clubs neglecting infrastructure. Even Manchester United are neglecting Old Trafford ffs.

Norwich fans enquired about expanding their stadium but their Chief Exec a few years back said wages were the priority, even though the club could easily support 36,000 crowds each week at PL level! And Bournemouth aren't arsed about improving their ground and are happy to spunk the load on failed Liverpool prospects. A cap would force clubs to invest in infrastructure and training facilities to the point where they can be self sustainable. And that's what we need across the board.

A cap also eliminates the vanity projects and protects the well-run community clubs who may not have the finance, but have the intentions of benefiting their local community for many years to come.
 
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It’s TV money that keeps the show on the road. 20,000 extra fans don’t mean shit for a lot of clubs.
I know but instead of Bournemouth spending nearly 90% of their income in wages, surely they should be looking at training facilities and ways to make more revenue out of the stadium. Because if they go down and don't come back up they're gonna be left with a very restricted turnover.

A cap would cause clubs to look at ways of expanding naturally. If non league Altrincham can propose an ambitious yet possible 10 year plan for sustainability whilst improving the club in all aspects, then why can't pro clubs look towards doing it in a new and capped era?
 

T.A

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#25
I know but instead of Bournemouth spending nearly 90% of their income in wages, surely they should be looking at training facilities and ways to make more revenue out of the stadium. Because if they go down and don't come back up they're gonna be left with a very restricted turnover.

A cap would cause clubs to look at ways of expanding naturally. If non league Altrincham can propose an ambitious yet possible 10 year plan for sustainability whilst improving the club in all aspects, then why can't pro clubs look towards doing it in a new and capped era?
https://www.afcb.co.uk/news/club-news/improved-training-ground-plans-approved/
 

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I would be in favour of individual clubs being allocated budget caps depending on size of gates and income with a fixed maximum for each division.

For example teams like Bradford, Plymouth and Swindon would be allowed to go up to £1.9m, whereas the likes of ourselves, Crawley, Morecambe and Stevenage would be capped at around £1m give or take.

If clubs can increase gates/commercial income then they can move to an increased budget cap the next season, or down if income decreases. Basically the more self-sufficient/profitable you are the more you're rewarded.

Any overspend would be a points deduction and then expulsion if it carries on for two seasons.
I’d love to see a reasonable way to work this out; it would have to be on income, not gates though. Bradford and Salford give seats away for nowt.
 

LS Bantam

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I’d love to see a reasonable way to work this out; it would have to be on income, not gates though. Bradford and Salford give seats away for nowt.
Can’t ever tell if opposition fans are being sarcastic or dumb when saying we give seats away? (I’ll repost my go to response from years ago (and I know this wasn’t necessarily the point you were making but it’s not like there’s much else to talk about))

‘Fans ripping the club off’ is probably the saddest thing I’ve read on a football forum and an indictment as to how English fans are cash cows to clubs paying extortionate prices compared to the rest of Europe. You can buy a season ticket at Bayern Munich for €140.
Our ‘cheap season tickets’ has close to doubled our attendance at times, it’s opened up the game/the club to literally thousands and thousands of people, thousands of kids, a new generation of fans that like us will get hooked and be there for decades.
It’s affordable, £6 odd, cheaper than the cinema, cheaper than most options on a Saturday afternoon, you’re all welcome to watch the same 23 teams for three times that.
We sold over ten thousand replica shirts last season I think, forget the financial side, that’s kids going out in City shirts to play, not Utd/Liverpool kits, that’s seeing loads of City shirts playing 5 aside or whatever on an evening. On a Saturday it’s more pints being bought, more pies, more programmes. Sponsorship money goes up as we can offer advertising to twice as many people, suites are full on a match day, it’s all the extras we get that make up the difference.
Take this year out and since they were introduced, on field we’ve been promoted, got to the league cup final, got to an FA cup quarter final, the play off semis and the play off final, so financially/playing wise it’s not effected us negatively, all that not in a 25% full ‘empty’ stadium but one packed with fans who’ll have those memories forever.
I’ve never got my head around the joke of our season ticket prices, our attempt to make football affordable, like I say, in Europe say, no one would look twice, in this country where for example Prem away tickets were getting so much they’ve had to put a cap on prices, we’re the odd ones out.
 
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