Salary caps are withdrawn for clubs in Leagues One and Two

The EFL salary caps for Leagues One and Two have been withdrawn following a decision by an independent arbitration panel.

By Gavin Browne
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 3:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 4:57 pm

The caps were voted through by third and fourth-tier clubs in August last year and were set at £2.5m per club in League One and £1.5m per club for Morecambe and their League Two counterparts.

It’s understood the cap wouldn’t have impacted upon the Shrimps anyway as manager Derek Adams had previously outlined.

Speaking ahead of last August’s vote, the Morecambe boss said: “A salary cap is no issue to us but it will be to a lot of clubs.

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Morecambe and their League Two counterparfts had been operating to a £1.5m salary cap

“You can see quite clearly that clubs are taking players before the cap comes into place – that’s happening and will continue to happen

“Putting a salary cap in place will benefit teams, not this season but possibly in future seasons

“This season, you can see what clubs are going to spend and then the players they have got in will go down to the average (wage) in future.”

Once the caps were introduced it had been reported that, at League Two level, 22 clubs were in favour with just two opposed, while in League One, it was 16-7 in favour with one abstention – with 16 being the number required to meet the 66 per cent threshold needed.

However, the Professional Footballers’ Association immediately challenged the caps, saying they were ‘unlawful and unenforceable’ – and an independent panel has now forced them to be withdrawn.

The panel ruled that the EFL was in breach of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee’s (PFNCC) constitution in introducing the caps.

The PFA said it looked forward to working with the EFL on 'reasonable and proportionate cost control measures for the future’.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: “We were disappointed that the EFL decided to introduce salary cap proposals, which were voted through without the proper consideration or consultation with the PFNCC.

“As a result, in August 2020, the PFA served a notice of arbitration on the EFL stating the introduction of the new rules were in breach of obligations under the constitution of the PFNCC. We are pleased the panel upheld the PFA’s claim.”

The EFL saw the caps as an essential part of ensuring clubs lived within their means, particularly given the pressure placed on revenues by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league’s own statement confirmed that following the decision, the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) regulations that were in effect during the 2019-20 season – linking player-related expenditure to turnover – had been reinstated.

An EFL statement added: “The EFL will now discuss the matter of financial controls and implications linked to this outcome at a series of meetings with its member clubs later this week.”

The PFNCC contains representatives of the PFA, the EFL, the Premier League and the Football Association.

It must consider matters related to the rules and regulations related to the employment and remuneration of professional footballers.

The PFA’s statement continued: “Like everyone involved in football, the PFA wants to see sustainable clubs at all levels.

“We also recognise the huge economic pressure that clubs have come under due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“The PFA believes it is now in the best interest of the leagues, the clubs, and the players to work together and agree on rules that promote financial stability.”

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