Future of Football League salary cap up in the air - with Portsmouth, Sunderland, Ipswich, Charlton & Co watching with interest

The long-running wrangle over the legitimacy of the salary cap has come a step closer to finally being resolved.

By Neil Allen
Thursday, 28th January 2021, 6:00 am
The EFL have faced opposition from the PFA over their decision to implement a salary cap in League One and League Two
The EFL have faced opposition from the PFA over their decision to implement a salary cap in League One and League Two

The PFA have been in dispute with the Football League following implementation of budget restrictions in League One and League Two last summer.

At the time, Pompey led the fight against the £2.5m wage ceiling levied in League One, yet were outvoted by fellow member clubs.

However, the PFA have continued to oppose the regulations and last week faced the Football League in an arbitration hearing in front of an independent panel.

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The results have yet to be made public, with Mark Catlin estimating it could take several weeks.

And the Blues chief executive is monitoring the outcome with interest.

He told The News: ‘As part of the salary cap review, there has been arbitration. If that isn’t successful, we will be looking to reinforce our view on that.

‘The arbitration has now taken place and we are waiting for the results, which is expected in the next couple of weeks.

Mark Catlin has been a long-time critic of the Football League's salary cap. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘It’s all very secretive, but my understanding is the meeting recently happened. We don’t know the outcome, it’s an independent panel.

‘Speaking to both sides, the EFL and the PFA, they are confident in their own position, so we'll just have to see how that works out now with the arbitration panel.

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‘There’s nothing we can do, these are the rules, these are the regulations, we voted against it.

‘But, should it stay, we would like to get some changes we believe are common sense changes for the good of football.’

Of Pompey’s starting XI against Lincoln on Tuesday night, the deals of five expire in the summer.

In total, the Blues have 11 contracted players who effectively become free agents at the end of the season.

Yet their futures remain in limbo until results of the arbitration have been declared.

Catlin added: ‘I want to stress, in regards of contract talks, pretty much unanimously all of the players have been asked if they want to extend at the divisional average given the current rules.

‘As you can see, none of them have.

‘There’s very little we can do, our hands are tied other than making our players feel wanted.

‘They know we want them and there’s a simple way out of it - which is getting promoted to the Championship where we can offer what we want.

‘If there’s not a better incentive for the player, I would like to know what is. The onus on the players is to get us out of this league.’

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