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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Premier League Considers Salary Cap Amid Ballooning Player Costs

  • Discussions underway among league officials of potential hard-cap structure
  • Payroll disparities, competitive balance concerns drive new consideration
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford celebrates with teammates after scoring.
Manchester United FC

Grappling with rising player compensation and competitive imbalance, the Premier League is looking at the possibility of implementing a rather American concept: a team salary cap.

The league is already subject to UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations designed to ensure financial solvency for clubs, but Premier League officials are looking at potentially going a step further with a hard cap.

“As far as competitive balance [is concerned], people need to be bold,” said Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish. “I think there is change afoot. UEFA squad-cost caps are one idea. Maybe something that is a bit more rigid than that, with a hard cap at the top.

“There are really positive conversations going on about it. We also have to be very careful because there are also unintended consequences,” he added. 

With the notable exception of Spain’s La Liga, much of European soccer currently operates without a salary cap, making these latest comments all the more important. 

The Haves And Have-Nots

A key impetus behind the Premier League efforts is the marked disparity in team payrolls. Manchester United’s $249.8 million payroll this season is nine times greater than Luton Town’s $27.8 million — a far bigger discrepancy than is seen in any major U.S. sport.

The Premier League table has also been fairly static at the top in recent years, with top-spending clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal all regularly occupying the lead spots.

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