Championship clubs have been asked to provide indicative votes on radical plans that would transform the way they conduct transfer business and pay players from next season.
Under a series of proposed reforms seen by Sportsmail, the EFL are seeking to gauge support for the introduction of an £18million salary cap, with a spending tax to be imposed on clubs who breach the limit.
That would be shared out among their rivals, which would replace existing profit and sustainability rules. If the proposals developed by the Championship financial control working party gain sufficient support, the EFL will hold a formal vote at the end of the month, with a view to bringing them in before the transfer window and the start of next season.
Championship clubs have been asked to provide indicative votes on introducing a salary cap
Key elements include:
- The introduction of a total squad salary cap of £18m, including all taxes, image rights and bonus fees, but with no limit on individual player salaries.
- Deductions from the cap to be permitted for the wages of Under 21 players, any income from loan deals and payments received as a result of promotion and/or success in cup competitions.
- A five per cent 'overrun facility' to be included allowing clubs to breach the cap by a small margin, but with a spending tax to be imposed on those who exceed the buffer. The tax would be on a sliding scale - 50p for every £1 overspend up to £600,000, £1 for every £1 from £600,000-£900,000 and £3 for every £1 over £900,000 - and the money shared equally between Championship clubs complying with the cap.
If the proposals gain sufficient support, the EFL will hold a formal vote at the end of the month
- Special dispensation for clubs relegated from the Premier League in receipt of parachute payments, who would be permitted to register contracts they committed to prior to relegation at a divisional average wage - proposed at £720,000 a year based on a cap of £18m.
- Maintaining a squad size of 25, in line with the Premier League, as opposed to Leagues One and Two who are considering a cut to 22 next season, 20 a year later.
The overrun and spending tax would be policed by the EFL, with any breaches referred to an independent disciplinary commission with penalties, including points deductions, at their disposal.
If the cap is introduced the current charges against clubs, like Sheffield Wednesday, continue
Points deductions would be automatic for clubs found to only have complied with the rules through deliberate non-disclosure of accurate information and/or providing misleading information.
The EFL have pencilled in July 29 for a formal vote if clubs opt to take them that far, though that is not guaranteed. A number of the biggest spenders are opposed to a cap, while the PFA will fight it, as Sportsmail has reported.
If the salary cap and spending tax are introduced, the existing profitability and sustainability rules would be removed, but current charges against clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday and Derby would continue and they would be punished if found guilty.