‘It would drag the bigger clubs down a bit’ - Owner on looming League One salary cap

Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony (left) and Barry Fry. MacAnthony believes a slary cap in League One will help Posh - but hinder sides like Ipswich Town Picture: PA SPORT

Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony (left) and Barry Fry. MacAnthony believes a slary cap in League One will help Posh - but hinder sides like Ipswich Town Picture: PA SPORT

PA Archive/PA Images

Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony believes that the looming League One salary cap will help Posh - but hinder the likes of Ipswich Town.

EFL clubs are set to vote on the plans in due course – potentially by the end of the month – with the third tier cap likely to be £2.5m, and League Two set at £1m. The Championship, meanwhile, is moving towards a much higher cap of £18m.

Any such League One cap would be a challenge for Town, who currently have a wage bill in the region of £5-6m.

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And MacAnthony says that, while he thinks the cap will be a boost for his side, he believes it would be fairer to base it on a club’s turnover.

“I delivered a document about three months ago with my proposals,” MacAnthony exlained on his ‘Hard Truths’ podcast. “I would base the cap on a club’s turnover so the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth could spend more based on what they generate. That would be a fairer way.

“For instance Posh generate around £6 million a year so we would be capped at a lower figure than Portsmouth who attract 16,000 fans to every home game and generate much more. You should be rewarded for running a successful business like Portsmouth.

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“But my first thought when I heard the EFL proposal was that it would benefit us. It would drag the bigger clubs down a bit as there would have to be a lot of revision of players’ contracts.

“We will cope because players under the age of 21 don’t count towards the figure, and we have a lot of them, whereas some of the bigger payers who have players on 8-9 grand a week could have a problem.

“We will be voting for the proposal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some amendments made.”

It’s been reported that any side which goes over the cap would be fined £3 for every £1 they exceed it - so, for example, if Town had a wage bill of £5m, they could face a fine of £7.5m.

But MacAnthony believes a cap is vital for the future of sides in the lower tiers.

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“It’s clear when there are clubs who can’t find £200k-300k to fund the completion of a season that salary caps are needed,” MacAnthony added. “There could still be a rocky road ahead for a couple of seasons for some clubs, but no-one will go bust because of this.

“A salary cap may even deliver some fairy tales.”

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