Mark Catlin: Northern clubs will appeal more to players than Portsmouth under salary cap proposals

Mark Catlin fears northern clubs will be rendered more attractive in the battle for players should a proposed salary cap be enforced.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 5:00 pm
Mark Catlin fears the south coast may be too expensive for players should the salary cap be implemented. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP

League One and League Two members are expected to next week vote on Football League plans to implement wage ceilings.

Crucially, the difference in living costs between the north and south could become even more pivotal in negotiations.

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Certainly Pompey’s chief executive believes the cap would remove existing mechanisms Pompey use to persuade footballers to relocate to an area with ‘double’ the cost of living.

He told The News: ‘A lot of the smaller northern clubs are saying to me: “I don’t know what you’re worried about, if we are offering the same money as Pompey they will still go to you”.

‘I actually had to point out the cost of living down here compared to a lot of northern towns and cities.

‘I put forward all these cases and almost everyone I speak to – and these are good people – nod their head and say “We understand, we get that. But we don’t want to be putting in the money to get to the level which you can afford”.

‘I would say it costs twice as much to live down here as compared to up north. To get a decent-sized two-bedroom flat is double.

‘When you are talking about salaries, players have to relocate on top of that, it’s a huge part.

‘We used to pay relocation costs separately, but that is now included in the salary cap. Now we just can’t do that.

‘The cap just doesn’t take into account the cost of attracting players from areas with cheaper standards of living.

‘I don’t think this issue only applies to us, there are other clubs in other areas also affected.’

Catlin is hoping to generate support above other members to oppose the salary cap proposals.

He added: ‘At this moment in time, a lot of clubs are hanging onto anything they can which means they don’t have to put the money in or clubs losses are reduced.

‘If it keeps them going, even to the detriment of the larger clubs, then they are going to vote for it.

‘Unfortunately that has an adverse impact on us.’

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