Mark Catlin: Portsmouth will fight disgraceful salary cap which also threaten Sunderland and Ipswich

Mark Catlin has branded Football League proposals for a player salary cap as an ‘absolute disgrace’.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 5:00 pm
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin has vowed to fight against the 'disgraceful' salary cap proposed by the Football League. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Pompey’s chief executive has pledged to spearhead the fight against its potential implementation for the 2020-21 campaign.

It is understood the Blues’ existing player wage bill is around £4m.

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Pompey’s drive for self-sufficiency saw them post a profit of £2.05m and turnover of £11.57m in their most recent set of accounts, lodged in March.

However, despite such financial success, the Blues would be forced to slash their wage bill and operate with the same salary cap as clubs recording substantial losses.

And it’s a potential scenario which incenses Catlin.

He told The News: ‘Should salary caps come in, those clubs with a 40,000 average attendance and generating huge commercial revenues will be only allowed to spend the same as clubs with a 2,000 attendance and no commercial income. How can that be right?

‘It is an absolute disgrace. I have been fighting this behind the scenes and will be fighting it even more strongly over the coming weeks and months.

‘Outline proposals have been sent out, although there has not been a formal document. There are a few clubs, including ourselves, that are totally against restricting salaries.

‘It’s a crazy proposal which is supposed to be about sustainability, yet Pompey are going to be unable to spend what we can afford.

‘However, this still encourages almost three quarters of the league to use their owners to put money in to get to our wage structure. Basically, it caps the top clubs that can afford it.

‘I have been arguing for a cap linked to turnover, a cap linked to operational profit, a cap linked to anything which allows the larger clubs to operate properly. It makes no sense to me.

‘This isn’t about sustainability, this is about homogenising and levelling the playing field in League One – and, in my opinion, is disgraceful.

‘It completely goes against the sustainability which we have advocated for years and we believe should be rolled out among football.

‘If you are a big club and can afford, hypothetically, a £5-6m budget, how can you have the same budget as a club which can only afford £1m and their owners are still allowed to put money in? It makes no sense whatsoever.

‘This is coming from a club which is widely admired throughout the football pyramid in how it has conducted itself since it came out of administration.’

Those expected to be hardest hit by proposals will be the larger clubs in League One, such as Pompey, Sunderland and Ipswich.

Meanwhile, a £1.25m salary cap is expected to be approved for League Two, while an £18m limit is mooted for the Championship.

Catlin added: ‘In my opinion, this is a knee-jerk reaction to the current Covid-19 situation.

‘The whole thing is a shambles and something we will be fighting against in the strongest possible way moving forward – and we are not alone.’

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