‘I’m with them’ – EFL Owner behind salary cap as Sunderland and Portsmouth oppose

Talks over a possible salary cap in League One and League Two are ongoing, with one high-profile owner throwing his weight behind the discussion.

The recent situation in the world has prompted some EFL clubs to call for an introduction of a salary cap, effectively undoing the changes put in place back at the start of the 1960s. Whilst a return to a salary cap system in the top flight is incomprehensible, smaller clubs are firmly behind a move to limit spending in the lower two divisions.

It is believed that only Portsmouth and Sunderland, both big players in the third-tier, are opposing the changes, whilst the other 22 members of the division are firmly behind some form of financial regulation which will supersede the rather lax financial fair play rules currently in place.

One man who is behind the proposal is Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony. He is the owner and ‘El Presidente’ of Peterborough United, a club who suffered by missing out on promotion on the PPG system earlier in the summer. MacAnthony, who has built up a loyal following of football fans from beyond Peterborough on Twitter, did manage to get a little dig in over how the season ended as he confirmed he is behind the salary cap proposals.

“I’m good with them,” he said when asked his opinion on Twitter. “(Be)cause majority of L1/L2 couldn’t find a few hundred grand to finish 23% of a season. That tells me salary caps are needed.”

Many clubs are facing an uncertain future after the premature finish to the 2019/20 season, with few making signings at present until the financial landscape becomes clearer.

Our View

We understand how some clubs believe a salary cap is not fair, with Portsmouth one who feel there will be an unfair levelling of the playing field if they’re introduced. Why should they be forced to spend the same as Accrington Stanley when they attract far more fans?

Unfortunately, as with the PPG conclusion, there will always be reasons against a decision, but the reasons for the changes must be clear. Some clubs (Fleetwood for instance) spend well beyond their means and over-inflate the market value of players. Clubs must then spend above their means to keep up, or find methods by which to attract players in other ways. Sadly, cash is king and whatever setup you have, if a club offers a player twice what you can, he ain’t going to sign for you.

We are firmly behind a salary cap, but not one that limits everyone. Sunderland and Portsmouth, for example, might struggle to get down to a £3.5m salary cap in League One, but there is no way Accrington would spend that much. That means that the proposals are not levelling a playing field, just bringing the ‘haves’ a little closer to the ‘have nots’.

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