Revealed: The NEW League One squad cap and salary rules Doncaster Rovers may have to follow as transfer deals eyed

The controversial League One salary cap is gone – but clubs are still set to have to follow some squad cap rules next season.

Sunday, 30th May 2021, 6:00 am
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

For the 2020/21 season, third tier clubs were only able to spend up to £2.5million on wages and were limited to registering a squad of 22 players.

And while a challenge by the PFA has seen the salary cap abolished, there will still be limits on what Rovers and their rivals can spend moving forward and on the number of players they can register.

Here’s everything we know so far about the rules that may govern clubs’ transfer business this summer.

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What are the new squad cap proposals for League One clubs?

It’s important to note at this point that nothing has been concretely agreed, but The Portsmouth News have reported that there is a favoured option among League One clubs moving forward.

That option would see clubs allowed to register 22 outfield players for the 2021/22 season – with goalkeepers and players under the age of 21 not included in that number.

Previous plans would have seen clubs limited to registering 20 first-team players, inclusive of goalkeepers.

These proposals are understood to be broadly supported by clubs, according to The News, but are yet to be finalised and approved.

That will likely come at the EFL AGM, which will be held in June.

Will League One clubs be limited in how much they can spend?

Following the abolition of the salary cap, League One clubs return to the Salary Cost Management Protocol regulations that had previously governed the third tier.

This meant that teams could spend up to 60 per cent of their turnover on player wages.

As things stand, it will be these rules that apply next season – but that could change if fresh financial controls are agreed.

So what does this mean for Doncaster Rovers?

The removal of the salary cap will naturally benefit clubs who generate bigger revenues and will allow them to perhaps gazump other offers in League One.

As for the proposed 22-player squad cap, Rovers currently have just nine senior, outfield players registered for the 2021/22 season: Tom Anderson, Andy Butler, Cameron John, Charlie Seaman, John Bostock, Ed Williams, Jon Taylor, Omar Bogle and Fejiri Okenabirhie.

So, even if out of contract quartet Reece James, Joe Wright, Brad Halliday and Jason Lokilo all agree to remain at Rovers, there would still be plenty of room for new additions should these rules come into play.

Goalkeeper Louis Jones, Branden Horton and AJ Greaves (both aged 20) would be exempt from the squad cap.

Lirak Hasani, aged 18, would also be exempt should he remain under contract.