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SFA chief Gordon Smith considering salary cap for Scottish clubs


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THE Scottish Football Association are discussing a salary cap where clubs would only be allowed to spend 65% of their income on wages, Gordon Smith has confirmed.

The model being considered follows the reforms in Ireland and would attempt to tackle the problems of clubs spending beyond their means, something UEFA president Michel Platini is also keen to combat.

 

In an interview with FC Business magazine, SFA chief executive Smith said: "I have been talking internally about what happens in Ireland where clubs can only spend 65% of their income on wages.

 

"If we carry on like we are now, I'll be pushing for this and additional reforms in relation to the license to play in our leagues. How can the SFA sit back and watch clubs destroy themselves? And there's a few close to doing that.

 

"Michel Platini has it right on one level that spending through debt is a form of cheating.

 

"But for us here in Scotland it's about ensuring that we retain the clubs we have and they have more money to help build the game as a whole.

 

"Our review on youth development would be pretty useless if there are less professional or league clubs for young Scottish players to play in, wouldn't it?"

 

Finance in Scottish football was complicated by Setanta's UK operation going out of business this summer and Clydesdale Bank Premier League clubs being forced to accept a vastly-reduced broadcast deal with Sky and ESPN.

 

Smith added: "It's not a good idea to be reliant on the TV money, clubs have to be more prudent."

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I see there are no direct quotes for the 'salary cap of 65% of income' headline however surely its not as straightforward as that?

 

What if that cap on a club in the SPL which has a low income (e.g. StMirren/StJohnstone) resulted in them having to spend less than they currently do now - thereby being forced to pay smaller wages and somehow expecting quality to increase as a result?

 

I agree that a review is needed, I'm just not sure the SFA/SPL/whatever is the best body to do it.

 

Anyway (barring Bohemians) since when have we required to learn anything from Irish football?

 

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I see there are no direct quotes for the 'salary cap of 65% of income' headline however surely its not as straightforward as that?

 

What if that cap on a club in the SPL which has a low income (e.g. StMirren/StJohnstone) resulted in them having to spend less than they currently do now - thereby being forced to pay smaller wages and somehow expecting quality to increase as a result?

 

I agree that a review is needed, I'm just not sure the SFA/SPL/whatever is the best body to do it.

 

Anyway (barring Bohemians) since when have we required to learn anything from Irish football?

 

I think prudence to ensure survival is the primary objective here. I would expect that notions of quality improvement may be someway down the line. His point appears to me to be 'lets make sure that the clubs are there tomorrow and then we can concentrate on them being better'. None of it is earth shatteringly brilliant but it is a sensible business approach to a difficult time.

 

The problem is (as you correctly point out) retaining quality and if the rest of the footballing world is going to continue being out of line with this philosophy then it will reduce the product on display in Scotland. As long as Championship/League 1 teams in England who have similar or smaller turnovers to ours can pay 3x the wages then we are going to get bent even further and harder over the desk.

 

If Smith puts this into practice then we have to hope Platini does the same and then the playing field will be levelled significantly. That can only be good for Scottish football.

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I think prudence to ensure survival is the primary objective here. I would expect that notions of quality improvement may be someway down the line. His point appears to me to be 'lets make sure that the clubs are there tomorrow and then we can concentrate on them being better'. None of it is earth shatteringly brilliant but it is a sensible business approach to a difficult time.

 

The problem is (as you correctly point out) retaining quality and if the rest of the footballing world is going to continue being out of line with this philosophy then it will reduce the product on display in Scotland. As long as Championship/League 1 teams in England who have similar or smaller turnovers to ours can pay 3x the wages then we are going to get bent even further and harder over the desk.

 

If Smith puts this into practice then we have to hope Platini does the same and then the playing field will be levelled significantly. That can only be good for Scottish football.

 

Even if its across the board, clubs in England will still be able to pay a fuckload more on wages/transfers so nothing will really change in that regard. What percentage of our finances are taken by wages? Anyone know?

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Even if its across the board, clubs in England will still be able to pay a fuckload more on wages/transfers so nothing will really change in that regard. What percentage of our finances are taken by wages? Anyone know?

 

Indeed, we will never be able to compete with bigger clubs, that is clear but there are clubs in England who have smaller turnovers than us who can outstrip us in wages by some distance. This ruling would restrict that somewhat were it to be applied across other footballing authorities.

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Guest leith_red

Even if its across the board, clubs in England will still be able to pay a fuckload more on wages/transfers so nothing will really change in that regard. What percentage of our finances are taken by wages? Anyone know?

 

According to the 2007-08 Annual Report it was 43%.

 

http://www.afc.premiumtv.co.uk/staticFiles/87/1e/0,,10284~138887,00.pdf

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I think this is merely a way of preventing egotistical cowboys buying clubs for a pittance, spending for a few years and then leaving them with unsustainable wage structures (see Gretna, Livi etc.) rather than such a cap being a means of imposing a level playing field. I think Hearts' wage/turnover currently stands at arround 110%, thus they will eventually hit the wall and leave Gordon Smith with another big fuck off debacle to deal with.

 

I agree however, that the only way long term benefits will be seen is if it's introduced by FIFA accross the board, a great side effect of which would be that football clubs would have to be properly run before they are successful.

 

We've already seen FIFA clamping down on diving and now tapping-up, perhaps there's room for another surprise move to improve the game.

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I think prudence to ensure survival is the primary objective here.

 

I say fuck them. If a club wants to spend more that it makes on wages, and they then go to the wall with the administrators, they deserve everything they get.

 

Clubs like Aberdeen fail to sign players all the time because of ridiculous wage demands from the players. Why should idiots like Hearts get away with this sort of crap? Nothing would make me laugh more than seeing Hearts go to the wall because their financial backers have pulled out and they can't afford to pay wages.

 

I think the onus should be on the clubs to watch their own spending, not the governing bodies.

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I say fuck them. If a club wants to spend more that it makes on wages, and they then go to the wall with the administrators, they deserve everything they get.

 

Clubs like Aberdeen fail to sign players all the time because of ridiculous wage demands from the players. Why should idiots like Hearts get away with this sort of crap? Nothing would make me laugh more than seeing Hearts go to the wall because their financial backers have pulled out and they can't afford to pay wages.

 

I think the onus should be on the clubs to watch their own spending, not the governing bodies.

 

While as a bitter and twisted Aberdeen fan I agree with the sentiment, the governing bodies still owe it to the supporters to safeguard the future of all Scottish clubs. Situations such as the one that Hearts currently find themselves in shouldn't be allowed to happen for this reason. Were it to be the case that the Dons fell into the wrong hands then I'd be more than relieved if such a salary cap meant that long-term financial damage to the club could be limited.

 

Even if you put that all to one side, it's also makes the general competition fairer to introduce a cap, purely because teams that live within their means will no longer be punished by those who have spent ridiculously for the sake of some short term success. Although this is sometimes redressed with points deductions for administration etc., this is perhaps little comfort to the financially prudent and well run clubs which find themselves relegated or held back by the short-sighted big-spenders.

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While as a bitter and twisted Aberdeen fan I agree with the sentiment, the governing bodies still owe it to the supporters to safeguard the future of all Scottish clubs. Situations such as the one that Hearts currently find themselves in shouldn't be allowed to happen for this reason. Were it to be the case that the Dons fell into the wrong hands then I'd be more than relieved if such a salary cap meant that long-term financial damage to the club could be limited.

 

Even if you put that all to one side, it's also makes the general competition fairer to introduce a cap, purely because teams that live within their means will no longer be punished by those who have spent ridiculously for the sake of some short term success. Although this is sometimes redressed with points deductions for administration etc., this is perhaps little comfort to the financially prudent and well run clubs which find themselves relegated or held back by the short-sighted big-spenders.

 

Correct. I think we all agree that we could laugh for weeks if irresponsible teams like Hearts went to the wall but at the end of the day it does nothing to support the game in Scotland and there are ordinary people doing ordinary jobs at HMFC who deserve to have their future guarded by legislative controls.

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Forgive me if I'm being a bit retarded or not quite grasping this but:

 

What about bonuses, do they come under the wages umbrella?

 

What's to stop a club paying crappy wages but offering huge win bonuses etc?

 

 

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