What are the wage cap proposals for League One clubs and how would they affect Doncaster Rovers?

Clubs in League One including Doncaster Rovers are set to be asked to agree to wage caps as the EFL looks to protect club finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Sunday, 24th May 2020, 6:49 pm
The Keepmoat Stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers
The Keepmoat Stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers

The proposals, which also include restrictions on how squads are made it, have come from the EFL's Financial Controls Working Party. EFL chairman Rick Parry believes action is required having predicted clubs will face a £200m deficit by September due to the continued shutdown of the game.

Here, we take a look what has been proposed and how it will impact Rovers.

WHAT WILL THE WAGE CAP INVOLVE?

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All clubs in League One would be restricted to a squad salary cap of £2.5m per season. There would be no variation from club to club based on income and revenue.

Any promotion-related bonuses would not be included within salary cap restrictions.

Discussions will take place on potential punishments for those who breach salary cap regulations but it is thought that points deductions are favoured.

In League Two, the wage cap would be £1.5m.

WHAT ELSE IS BEING PROPOSED?

It has been reported that clubs will be asked to vote on whether or not to limit squad sizes to 20 senior players - those aged 21 or over.

Within that 20, it is suggested that eight should be 'homegrown' players. Current EFL 'homegrown' regulations state a player should have been registered with his current club or another club affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for three or more seasons prior to their 21st birthday. 'Homegrown' is a different category to 'club developed' players.

Clubs are currently obliged to name seven 'homegrown' players in any matchday squad.

Further to the proposed new squad restrictions, and with the goal of driving youth development, there would be no restriction on the number of players aged 20 or under in a squad.

Also, regulations will be put in place to ensure any club which fails to pay its players on time will be hit with automatic points deductions. Previously, clubs have been taken to EFL disciplinary panels to determine punishments.

WHEN WILL THIS COME INTO PLAY?

The proposals would require the backing of 75 per cent of clubs to be passed, according to reports.

Discussions and a deciding vote are unlikely to take place until the fate of the 2019/20 season across the EFL divisions is decided.

The EFL are thought to want the measures in place for the start of the 2020/21 season, though will provide some initial leniency to allow clubs to fall into line.

Squad sizes up to 22 senior players would be permitted for the first year.

Clubs relegated from the Championship would be permitted one season to transition into the wage restrictions.

HOW WOULD THIS AFFECT ROVERS?

Rovers' playing budget is consistently pitched to be around the sixth to eighth best in League One. On estimated figures, this equates to between £2.5m and £3m per season.

As such, Rovers have typically operated at a level that would put them at the same level as the new restrictions and have delivered a decent measure of success in doing so.

In terms of squad size, Rovers currently have 19 contracted players over the age of 21 - though five of these are currently part of the club's development group.

Of those 19, ten will reach the end of their current contracts this summer, giving the club plenty of flexibility over how to shape the squad.

And also each of those 19 would pass the current 'homegrown' player regulations.

Rovers currently have six loanees at the club. It is unsure at this stage how loan signings would be affected by the proposed regulation changes.

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