ASK any successful businessman what percentage of his turnover should be spent on wages and he’ll tell you: “Never more than 40 per cent.”
And if you want to make a healthy profit then you should be aiming for nearer 30.
In the Premier League that figure for the 2010 season was 68 per cent.
That year, 14 of the top 30 highest wage bills in Europe were English clubs.
It is entirely unsustainable and can only lead to disaster.
But with wages capped at 50 per cent, gambling the future of a club for success is no longer an option.
Wolves Chairman Steve Morgan said: “We have seen what happened with Portsmouth — they went out on a spending spree, brought loads of players, won the FA Cup but then almost went into oblivion.
“The graveyard is full of them. A salary cap would be a sensible step in the right direction as a percentage of revenue. Is it too much of an ask that clubs are run fiscally correct?” Everton boss David Moyes called for a 20 per cent wage cut across the whole of the Premier League.
He said: “Perhaps the 20 per cent suggestion would cause some mayhem.
“But I think we all need to do something serious. People might say it would be harder to IT’S not often British sports take their cue from our Yank cousins over The Pond.
But for once the chaps in charge of America’s Major League Baseball have hit on a unique solution to their game’s growing debt problem.
They’ve implemented something called a ‘luxury tax’ for teams that are aggressive spenders. The more you spend the more you’re penalised.
And the proposed system for the English Premier League would see one point deducted from a team’s tally for every £10m they spend in the transfer window.
Want to spank £50m on Fernando Torres? That’ll be five points docked, thank you very much.
The emphasis here would be placed squarely on teams bringing through their own cheap, English talent from youth teams and academies, rather than trying to buy success at the mere opening of a Sheikh’s bulging wallet.
That can only be good news for the English national team, too.
The over-inflated transfer market in general would take a hit, bringing costs down and reducing the need for club’s to get into debt trying to buy players.
In an ideal world the EPL would become much more competitive than in recent years. And isn’t it a level playing field that we all crave so much? attract players to the Premier League, but we have to take responsibility for the long-term health of football.
“Clubs have to control their money properly and only pay what they can actually afford. People have to be held responsible when things go wrong.
“Every family in the country at the moment has to finance correctly. They can’t overspend. Why is football different?””
But it’s not just money. Fans are becoming ever more distanced from the players they admire.
The more they earn, the more detached they are from reality and the harder it is for them to relate.
And the more the clubs rush to pay the exhorbitant wages, the more they are forced to fleece the fans for ever more money.
Higher and higher season tickets, more and more kit designs, expensive food and drink, the list goes on.
And this has led to many original fans claiming they have been pushed out of the game they love.
Added to the malaise is the predictablity of the league, because no matter how much Sky bill it as the most exciting league in the world, fans know the winner will come from one of three or four clubs.
And experts claim this could eventually lead to a fall in attendance. So what is to be done? Is there a way to rescue the Beautiful Game? We examine
CLUBS generate their income from three main areas: matchday revenue, broadcasting revenue and sponsorship and merchandising.
So what happens when attendances across all the leagues slumps dramatically, as we’re seeing now? You get a shortfall in dosh that can quickly cripple a team’s ambitions.
Some are now arguing that amid inflated ticket prices and increased fan disillusionment there’s only one way to get punters flocking back in through the turnstiles: a return to old fashioned terracing.
In some quarters it’s seen as the antidote to sterile atmospheres and over-zealous stewards.
And a major voice in the clamour to return to standing at matches is Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters’ Federation.
He wants designated standing areas in all grounds to boost both attendances AND the feel-good factor of the modern game – giving footy back to the hardcore majority.
And he says: “The cost of a standing ticket would probably be £14 or £15. Yet prices in the Premier League have gone way above that.
“Eventually, reality must intrude. It gives clubs the freedom to decide what’s best for their own ground. It’s time they listened to the fans.”
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