FA chief executive Ian Watmore condemns possible Uefa restrictions

As speculation continues that Michel Platini and Uefa may seek to use the credit crunch and the high levels of debt at some clubs as a justification of bringing in salary caps, the new chief executive of the FA has given another negative reaction.

“Anything that makes the competition stronger and more deep, I think has got to be welcomed. We don’t want to see the Premier League becoming a top- four procession every year.

“If in the process of the new money coming into Manchester City — and some interesting, I think different, strategies that people like Aston Villa are adopting — we can get to seven or eight clubs that realistically have a chance of breaking into the top four, it can only strengthen the Premier League, which is to our mutual advantage.”

For City this is good news. Our spending on wages and transfers is undoubtedly going to be very high in relation to turnover for the next couple of years as our owners invest and seek to grow the club. The last thing we need is a salary cap linked to turnover, which would only consolidate the position of the established big clubs and make it nigh on impossible to challenge them.

Chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore also rejected calls for a salary cap earlier this year. Although not everyone in the Premier League is apparently against the idea. With their current financial constraints the Arsenal chief executive mentioned it recently in an interview with David Conn. Coincidentally the Gunners currently have the highest match day revenues in the country.

Interestingly I saw this article in The Telegraph in February which stated:

Ninety-five of the ECA’s 103 full members gathered in Geneva, ranging from F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg to Real Madrid, and there was remarkable unanimity in opposition to a wage cap.

Smaller clubs baulk at setting salaries at a percentage of revenue because they fear it would allow the richest clubs to continue to dominate. The larger clubs would welcome the chance to spend less on players’ wages, but will not countenance falling behind their rivals.

The political manoeuvring on this topic by Platini is something to keep a watchful eye on. If he was to get his way, it could cause more damage to Sheikh Mansour’s ambitions than any onfield opposition.

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