Morecambe chief: This is football's chance to change for the better

Morecambe have been EFL members since 2007 despite being the smallest club and having a similarly-sized budgetMorecambe have been EFL members since 2007 despite being the smallest club and having a similarly-sized budget
Morecambe have been EFL members since 2007 despite being the smallest club and having a similarly-sized budget | freelance
Morecambe co-chairman Rod Taylor hopes that football will undergo change once matches return following the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to football’s suspension in mid-March, there had been talk of Tottenham Hotspur wanting £200m to sell Harry Kane this summer, as well as other stories of contract offers worth six figures a week.

With the current lack of matches and associated income, it may be that clubs, players and agents will have to lower their sights when it comes to future fees.

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In the wake of the pandemic, a move towards salary caps in Leagues One and Two seems to be gaining support.

With Morecambe being the club with the lowest budget in League Two – and one that’s had its fair share of financial woes in recent years – Taylor feels a sense of proportion higher up the pyramid wouldn’t be before time.

He said: “This is something I’ve said before, especially for clubs in League One, League Two and the National League.

“You hear about Championship clubs spending 107 per cent of their income on the playing budget – how ridiculous is that?

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“Yes, I get they’re all chasing the dream of the Premier League but, at some point, something has to give.

“This situation has really accelerated but there’s going to need to be a reboot, be it looking at squad budgets, salary caps or getting more money through to the lower levels.

“There are 101 things you can look at and think it might work but then, you look at it again and realise it won’t.

“When we do eventually kick off again, hopefully it will be on a sounder financial footing or there’s no doubt clubs will go to the wall if we don’t change it.”

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At the same time, however, there is an argument that salary caps or similar spending restrictions would deter those clubs with ambitious owners who are seeking to climb the pyramid.

At the highest level for example, Chelsea and Manchester City required takeovers and heavy spending to become two of English football’s top clubs.

Further down, Andy Pilley’s time with Fleetwood Town has yielded a revamped Highbury Stadium, the new Poolfoot Farm training complex and a team in the League One play-off places up until football’s suspension.

Also on the Fylde coast, David Haythornthwaite took the former Kirkham and Wesham club, rebranded it as AFC Fylde, built the Mill Farm complex, and saw them come within 90 minutes of promotion into the EFL last year.

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Taylor acknowledged: “There’s always going to be someone to chase that dream, whether they’re in the Northern Premier League, for example, or the Championship.

“Someone will want to throw some money at it, and if they have deep pockets, then fine.

“There would, though, have to be a way of doing that where someone could speculate that money but there would have to be a way to equal it out.

“Perhaps, if they wanted to break the salary cap, they would have to pay a penalty that goes into central funds, to charity, or whatever it may be.”