EletiofeLeague One and League Two clubs pass vote to...

League One and League Two clubs pass vote to bring in salary cap

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League One and League Two clubs have voted to implement a salary cap, less than 24 hours after the Professional Footballers’ Association warned the English Football League such a measure could be “unlawful and unenforceable”.

It is understood League Two clubs voted 22-2 in favour of a £1.5m cap; the ballot in League One for a £2.5m cap was significantly tighter, with 16 clubs in favour, seven against and one withholding their vote. Wages, bonuses, image rights and agents’ fees are covered by the cap, although bonuses related to cups or promotion are excluded.

The cap is widely regarded by clubs as a step in the right direction but executives realise it is not a perfect solution. The PFA, which has written to the EFL to outline its concerns, has reservations about what would be a “seismic change”.

Maximum 20-man squads have also been agreed, although players under the age of 21 will be exempt from this and the salary cap, and 22-man squads will be allowed in 2020-21 in a transition season.

Penalties have been agreed for clubs who exceed the cap by up to 5%, with fines rising to £3 for every £1 of overspend. Money collected will be redistributed among clubs who have stayed within the rules. A disciplinary commission will deal with clubs who break the cap by more than 5%.

Southend, relegated to League Two, are understood to be one of the clubs to have voted against the cap. Forest Green voted in favour, with their owner, Dale Vince, saying it would prevent financial “recklessness”.

He told the Guardian: “It will bring sustainability, it will stop the profligate spending that gets one or two clubs intro trouble, like Bury last season, and it will stop the recklessness. Budgets in the division last season would have varied between £1m and £5m, but with a cap of £1.5m it should make for a tighter league.”

In the Championship a salary cap of £18m-£20m has been proposed but has yet to be voted on and nothing is expected to be introduced for the 2020-21 season.

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