Portsmouth weigh up taking legal action following landmark wage cap decision

Mark Catlin has admitted he can’t rule out Pompey taking legal action against the introduction of a salary cap in League One.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 3:51 pm

The Blues chief executive admitted the club are now considering their options following the landmark implementation of a £2.5m playing budget ceiling and squad restrictions.

Pompey are weighing up whether the restrictions they are now working under is forcing them to break the law.

The club have sought legal advice over the wage cap and are watching closely what happens as a period of arbitration between the EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) takes place, with the latter already branding the cap ‘unlawful’.

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When asked if the club will take legal action in a Q&A, Catlin told Pompey’s official site: ‘It’s tough. We are part of the EFL and while I don’t agree with the current situation, it was voted on and we have to accept and respect democratic decisions, with one caveat – that they are legal.

‘Governing bodies can, of course, vote and agree on various rules and regulations, but in regards of equality, competitiveness and restriction of trade, no decisions can legally override statute or company law. The PFA believe that the new rules in their current state to be ‘unlawful’, while the professional advice I have received strongly supports this view.

‘Our strategy at the moment is to work towards some adjustments that protect our players as employees and allow clubs to spend what they can operationally afford. Both of these are, in our opinion, no-brainers and keep us legal.

‘I understand that the PFA are not too far away from our views on this in terms of reaching a compromise, rather than embarking on costly legal action, and are shortly due to go to arbitration with the EFL.

Mark Catlin

‘We hope that an agreement can be reached between the PFA and EFL, but if it can’t, then we will have to take a view on whether the new rules force us to break the law.

‘If we are convinced this is the case, then naturally we have an obligation to both the business and our employees to not allow ourselves to be put into that position. We will continue to discuss with all relevant parties, while also considering our options moving forward.’

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