How Portsmouth are leading Sunderland, Ipswich, Charlton, Hull and Co into battle to overhaul League One's salary cap

Pompey are heading the fight to rewrite the Football League salary cap they so vehemently oppose.

By Neil Allen
Friday, 29th January 2021, 6:00 am
Pompey will lobby the Football League for change if the salary cap remains in place. Picture: Joe Pepler

The PFA are attempting to ditch budget restrictions introduced to League One and League Two clubs last summer.

Should the independent panel reject the PFA’s complaint and allow the salary cap to remain, Pompey will step forward and table a ‘raft of proposals’ to change existing regulations.

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Mark Catlin is adamant an overhaul of the legislation is essential – and believes other clubs are behind him.

He told The News: ‘Should arbitration not find in favour of the PFA, we have a raft of proposals that we believe will improve the salary cap.

‘The EFL’s strategy is more to establish the principle of a salary cap, so there’s not a lot of point spending time, effort and money to get it all changed only for the arbitration panel to announce it’s against the rules to have a cap in the first place.

‘We’ll just have to see the result of that and then, if need be, put forward a number of proposals to the EFL.

‘For instance, the cost of living has to be taken into account, it’s very expensive on the south coast.

‘Also, should there be an option in an existing player’s contract, it must be treated at a divisional average. We believe these are pretty common sense changes.

‘The one which is always going to be more contentious is allowing some flexibility for the larger clubs with larger attendances and the larger income streams to be able to afford more than those without.

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‘This was meant to be about sustainability, not homogenising the league.’

With the divisional average weekly wage pitched at around £1,750 a week, Pompey fear they will lose a large proportion of their 11 out-of-contract players this summer.

The alternative would be for star names such as Tom Naylor and Jack Whatmough to take a substantial salary cut to stay.

Catlin added: ‘There are two distinct parts of the salary cap which we disagree on in regards to existing players.

‘If they've got an existing option in their contract, we believe that should be treated at the divisional average because in some of our players’ options it is going to be impossible to activate because it’s so far removed from the divisional average.

‘With existing players, whether they have an option or not, as long as you aren’t offering a superior deal to that player, they should be treated at the divisional average for the length of time they are with you, even on a new deal.

‘We would like to breed loyalty. The salary cap won’t allow that.

‘We have spoken to other clubs about a number of the proposals and they seem pretty sympathetic as well.’

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