English lower-league clubs vote for salary cap

Clubs in League One and Two have voted in favour of squad salary caps, the English Football League announced on Friday.

The cap will be set at £2.5 million ($3.2 million) in League One, the third tier, and £1.5 million in League Two and has been introduced with immediate effect, the EFL said.

It will cover basic wages, taxes, bonuses, image rights, agents' fees and other fees and expenses paid directly or indirectly to all registered players.

Promotion bonuses or incentives for success in cup competitions will not be included and any income generated from players going out on loan is deducted from the club's salary cap calculation.

A statement from the EFL read: "The decision follows extensive and comprehensive consultation with all clubs in respect of addressing sustainability and wage inflation issues across the EFL which were initiated prior to the suspension of football in March following the COVID-19 outbreak and have continued during the course of the summer."

Clubs will be fined or face further sanctions if they overspend.

EFL chief executive David Baldwin said: "The financial impact of COVID-19 will be profound for EFL clubs and today's vote will help ensure clubs cannot extend themselves to the point that could cause financial instability."

Championship clubs are understood be discussing a cap, but there are no formal plans for a vote.

In a statement issued before Friday's vote, the Professional Footballers' Association said it had concerns that the proposed cap was being rushed through, without proper consideration or consultation.

"The introduction of a salary cap in English football represents a seismic change," the PFA said. "It is a change that will have far-reaching and significant impacts right across the professional game. We must take the time to ensure that these are properly considered and understood."