Why Sheffield Wednesday have received a letter rallying against radical change to transfer rules
Three of Sheffield Wednesday’s Championship rivals have written to other clubs in the division to rally against proposals that would radically alter the face of English football’s second tier.
The letter, signed by Brentford chairman Cliff Crown, Bournemouth counterpart Jeff Mostyn and Norwich business and project director Zoe Ward, claims that a financial director quickly found ‘30 ways’ to cheat the EFL’s proposed salary cap rules that would see player wage spending capped at just £18m.
This would see dramatic change to the spending power of the vast majority of second tier clubs, including Wednesday, who as per their last publicly available set of accounts – for the 2017/18 season – pay out £42m in player wages.
Accounts for the Owls’ 2018/19 are long overdue with their 2019/20 figures due in Spring, but it can be reasonably assumed that that figure has been significantly reduced.
The salary cap proposal has come about in response to the clubs’ financial plight throughout the coronavirus crisis as matchday revenue was stripped away.
The governing body is attempting to find ways to promote more reasonable spending and to avoid some of the issues several clubs have run into in recent years.
“Many of the financial problems in the Championship arise due to the chasm between our division and the Premier League. However, instead of helping, a salary cap model will only create a larger chasm,” read the open letter.
“Picture a scenario where almost every season the three teams who come down go straight back up. That would be the end of the Championship as a competition. We truly believe the brand would be devalued if a salary cap is implemented and the League would become impotent.”
Wednesday’s view on the proposals is not known, but it has been reported that 10 other Championship clubs, including Stoke, are already dead against the current proposal.
“It's a rushed, nonsensical move,' one source told the Daily Mail. “You can't slap an £18m cap on each club. Some have much higher turnovers than others and much wealthier owners. Why should they be penalised? And where is the incentive for any new investment when potential new owners can't spend their own money?”
The plans have been written-off by some as a ‘testing ground’ for more agreeable proposals further down the line.