Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann has revealed the club were against the introduction of a Football League salary cap – but believes the cap will be of benefit to the Iron and fellow smaller clubs.
The controversial salary cap, which imposes a budget cap of £1.5m per club in League Two and £2.5m in League One, was recently introduced ahead of the forthcoming Football League campaign.
Swann admitted that whilst stricter financial controls may have prevented Football League sides such as Southend, Macclesfield, Bolton, Wigan and Bury from getting into serious financial difficulty, he did not believe the newly introduced EFL salary cap was a good idea.
He told the Iron Bru podcast: “The league voted on a salary cap. We weren’t of the mind that it was a good idea but, in unity, we have agreed with the other clubs so that we can all work together now going forward.
“Over the years it has been necessary for there to be more financial control in the divisions. The Premiership have gone off on this fantastic journey of billionaires and multimillionaires playing football. The EFL and the Championship have this dream of getting to the golden land and people have overspent.
“The EFL in all their wisdom can and have always had the ability to stop those things happening. They’ve always had the ability to take points or fines, but over the years have never really been strong enough on penalties and that was my argument.”
Swann added that although the salary cap would actually benefit smaller clubs like the Iron, he was of the opinion that football clubs with much larger turnovers should be able to choose their budget, as long as they were spending within their means.
“We were in a very good position, because we’d already got a break even sustainability model ready for the season”, he continued.
“Actually the salary cap was above where we were going to have our wages, so we are actually in a really good position and even though I argued that it should be based on turnover as a salary cap, this benefits clubs like us.
“If you have a break even point at your football club and you can afford five million budget, you should be able to do that. If you can afford one and a half million, you should be able to do that.
“I think it’s unfair for a club like ours to have a budget only a million less than Sunderland or a million less than Rotherham or whoever’s in the division at the time.
“I think if your club can break even, genuinely break even then that’s the way it should be done. It’s about monitoring from their (EFL) point of view.
“It has basically levelled the playing field for clubs who don’t have a lot of income. Ourselves, the Accringtons, and all the clubs that have small grounds can now have a budget well within and close to other clubs”.
Swann also added a number of clubs in League One and Two had signed players on long deals prior to the salary cap being introduced in an attempt to take advantage, at least in the short term, with clubs given leeway to honour existing contracts.
“You’ve probably seen a lot of clubs signing players on two and three year deals.
“Those two and three year deals do not affect the salary cap.
“Basically, if a player was on a £4000 pound a week deal done before the salary cap came in, they would they would only count for the top average in the league, whether that be £1300 pounds or £1400 pounds. They won’t get penalised, because it was an existing contract.”