The Salary Cap and the PFA

I understand why owners of lower league football clubs – in fact probably all football clubs -would wish to limit expenditure and losses, particularly in the current COVID situation. It is really pretty ironic that Charlton finally have an owner who wishes to spend more money on player wages and transfer fees and he is prevented from doing that by the wage bill cap.

Surely, this is an own goal by football’s authorities. If someone like Thomas wants to spend his money by giving it to other clubs and to football players whose careers are relatively short, it is good for the game isn’t it ? I’m not sure I buy the argument that it is to provide a level playing field for the Rochdale’s and Accrington’s of this world. So they get to be more competitive and get promoted to the Championship where the cap doesn’t apply and they become totally uncompetitive there instead. Meanwhile any decent players in League 1 and 2 get snapped up by Championship clubs at lower than ever transfer fees and who are allowed to pay any wage they like. Look at Alfie Doughty. There is a decent chance we get promoted this season but we cant offer him a silly contract like QPR or Stoke and he’s likely to be playing inthe same division next year. QPR and Stoke are hardly a step up really are they?

Finally, how on earth do the players union, the PFA, headed up by the highest paid union official in the UK, Gordon Taylor who gets more than £500k a year, allow their members salaries to be capped so that clubs can’t pay players what they want to. Surely that’s just a version of what’s called ‘Restraint of Trade’’ in law.

I’m amazed the players haven’t kicked up a fuss – where’s the Jimmy Hill of the 2020’s to abolish this salary cap

5 thoughts on “The Salary Cap and the PFA

  1. Albury,
    Totally agree with all that you say – the salary cap is really a restraint of trade upon the players in the lower two divisions isn’t it?
    What happens when a club is relegated from the Championship at the end of this season? From what I understand most of their players will break the division 1 salary cap – but they are allowed to do so for the time that the players’ contract has to run, then it must be renewed within the cap limits.
    Any club in danger of relegation with ambitions for promotion the following season, and a bit of cash in the bank, will no doubt just bump up their star players wages and extend their contracts to keep them in the club …. so all clubs are not equal, some (the recently relegated ones) are more equal than others and the level playing field simply doesn’t exist.
    It is all a total farce – but I’m not surprised in the least with way in which we have seen how the EFL runs its business. If I ran my business in the same way I’d be bankrupt!!

  2. The salary cap was introduced to prevent owners from loading their clubs with debt and then going into receivership leaving players and other staff unpaid for weeks/months on end until the club finds new owners. However it is restrictive in that a one size fits all policy that works for a lot of the smaller northern based clubs while larger, southern based teams (like Charlton, Pompey etc) are operating in adifferent economic market and will struggle to attract or retain talented players. It should be fixed to turnover rather than a flat figure. In addition in a division with a long season clubs need large squads to get through around 50 games.

    At the end of the season a lot of players on existing contracts that end this June are going to be offered deals that are significantly less than they are currently being offered and many players will prefer to switch clubs. My prediction is that there’ll be a large turnover of players and some might prefer to be squad players in the Championship rather than regular starters in L1. This will make it difficult to build squads and many teams will simply ship in young loanees from Prem and Championship clubs and effectively become nurseries for larger teams.

    Where is the incentive to run academies when talented young players, like Alfie Doughty will leave either on free transfers at the end of their contract or be sold for under their market value? Doughty in a couple of years time could be worth several £m (like Konsa, Grant etc) and be transferred on to a larger club. Stoke (or whover buys him) know they are getting a bargain – they will have a talented player who they’ll make a solid profit out of in a couple of seasons. In the meantime Charlton who identified and nurtured the player will get a six figure sum and a few K more in add-ons when they could be getting the sort of sum that pays for a lot of things. In otherwords the salary cap will be self-defeating.

    • I am sure you are correct about the rationale but I’m not sure football should really be treated differently from running other businesses. I run training businesses and noone can tell me how much to pay my salesstaff or directors or that I should pay them exactly the same as my competitors to save me from myself !

  3. This salary cap will only instigate a bigger gap between League One and the Championship. It will force players to join a Championship club as a benchwarmer rather than play regularly in League One and two and how are League One clubs expected to sign players on long contracts, and even extend contracts for current players, with such limitations.

    It hasn’t been thought through properly. Of course the smaller teams want a level playing field but teams that have invested in quality stadia and facilities are being penalised. The PFA, as you say, seem to have been very quiet on this.

    We will certainly be seeing clubs relegated from The Championship being on a different level to the rest as the existing contract rules give them a major advantage.

    I hope this is revised soon.

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