Still being discussed at EFL level are the proposed new Salary Cost Management Protocols which could, if agreed, see spending caps placed on clubs across the divisions as the game looks to protect itself from future financial problems.
“Since Bury failed, along with the increase in losses that have been seen around the EFL, the member clubs have been continuing to look at SCMP,” chief executive Nigel Clibbens told us. “It’s been something which has been discussed since I came into the game ten years ago, it’s an ongoing process.
“The latest round of amendments have probably been on the circuit for the last year, and we received a set of draft rules last week for League Two.
“Before that, we had a long consultation about what clubs wanted and, as I say, we finally got the draft proposals last week, which we gave our feedback to the EFL about. The issue with these things is always that the owners of clubs have very different views about what level of control they should have.
“Some clubs believe there should be really tight controls and oversight, and other owners believe they’re the custodians of their club and they should be able to do what they want to do without anybody telling them how to do it.
“It is very difficult to bring those views together, and the members are always the ones who have to vote on it. What tends to happen is the rules gravitate to somewhere near the middle, but what sometimes happens with that is that you end up with the outcome that offends 50% of the members the least, rather than what is best for the collective.
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“Clubs are only interested in themselves, and they’ll always vote for what is best for them. That’s always been the way it is, but I think what we’re finding now is that the interests of each club are far wider than they used to be.
“In the past clubs had similar approaches to life, so the views were quite narrow. If you can find a middle ground when the views are narrow the majority of people are happy. When the range of views is wide, most people aren’t happy with the outcomes.”
“For example, I was at a Championship meeting four years ago and a new owner came in with a new chief executive talking about Championship financial fair play,” he commented. “His view of life was that clubs should be able to make unlimited losses because he had enough money to fund that.
“I was at Huddersfield and that wasn’t our situation, so we argued for something different. The rules came in at a £37m loss over three years. The owner that I mentioned ended up burning around £150m in a couple of years, and disappeared along with his CEO, which left his club on a really difficult path.
“I think fans know my views on salary control. I spent 20 years looking at clubs and businesses in financial difficulty before I came into football. The EFL is built on losses, and it isn’t sustainable.”
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