Portsmouth respond to dramatic EFL proposals to introduce salary cap for next season

Pompey have raised flaws in proposals to introduce a salary cap into the bottom tiers of English football.

Sunday, 24th May 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Sunday, 24th May 2020, 9:38 am

The EFL are proposing to bring in a ceiling on wages in League One and League Two in time for the 2020-21 season, according to reports.

Under the plans a £2.5m cap for squad wages in League One will be in place with a £1.25m limit with League Two, while a vote will take place on limiting squads to a maximum 20 players.

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The figures would represent a huge drop from the levels many clubs are currently operating at in the third tier - including Pompey.

Chief executive Mark Catlin has long preached the importance of teams in the EFL operating on a sustainable basis in the manner the Blue operate under American billionaire Michael Eisner.

Catlin explained he’s broadly in support of limiting wages but feels putting clubs under the same cap exposes faults in the plans.

He said: ‘We’re not against the principal of salary caps. We’ve been preaching it for the last eight years as a club.

Pompey CEO Mark Catlin

‘There should be salary caps, but the salary cap has to correspond to the size of the club and what it can afford.

‘You can’t have an artificial salary cap which allows smaller club owners to put money in while the larger clubs can’t spend money they can afford.

‘It just seems crazy to me. It has to be aligned to the size of the club in regards to commercial size and ticket sales.’

League One offers a clear example of the difficulty of implementing a one-size-fits-all cap for clubs.

The current 23 members in the division vary hugely in size but all would operate under the same ceiling.

Under the proposals clubs would be able to bolster their budgets with cup runs and player sales, paving the way for the possibility of sides such as Accrington having budgets double the size of Sunderland - who have an average crowd of over 30,000.

Catlin added: ‘You could arrive at a crazy situation where a smaller club in League One is putting in money they can’t afford to get to a salary cap.

‘Then the larger clubs who are more than sustainable can’t put the money in.

‘We think salary caps should be relevant to the size of the club and what it can afford.

‘A cap should be part of that mechanism, but not the whole mechanism.’