League Plead for PFA Support over Salary Cap

By Moxley, Neil | Daily Mail (London), November 22, 2002 | Go to article overview

League Plead for PFA Support over Salary Cap


Moxley, Neil, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: NEIL MOXLEY

THE financial security of Football League clubs is in the hands of the Professional Footballers' Association after proposals for a salary cap won overwhelming support yesterday.

The 72 club chairmen and chief executives voted almost unanimously to limit spending on wages to 60 per cent of turnover by the start of the 2004-05 season, with a further 10 per cent reduction 12 months later.

Crippling salary increases and the collapse of ITV Digital have forced a rethink on how football is run below the Premier League.

In the light of massive cash pressures on clubs like Leicester, Derby and Bradford, the League have no choice but to examine any new proposal.

However, under European law, any domestic arrangement, such as a salary cap, must be based on a collective bargaining agreement with a relevant union to avoid legal challenges.

The pressure is therefore on the League to make an agreement with the players' union when they meet for further talks on Tuesday.

If not, an individual player may appeal to the courts, as Jean-Marc Bosman did a decade ago in a move that changed the face of football forever.

Owen Eastwood, a sports lawyer at solicitors Lewis Silkin, said: 'The European Commission have stated that if the matter is agreed with the players' representatives, they will not take any action.' A spokesman for the League claimed the matter was open to interpretation.

He said: 'In our opinion, a wage cap would be legally enforceable if the restriction imposed was in fair proportion to the need to secure the future health of the industry. …

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