After a season full of controversy over clubs’ finances, the Premier League is poised to be changed. Recent reports suggest that the League may be imposing a salary cap soon.
While caps are normal in American sports, how would the implementation look in the World’s biggest league?

If one is to look at all the issues these past seasons, one wonders why nothing is being addressed. From City’s laundry list of charges to Chelsea spending the GDP of small countries on useless players, something feels unsustainable.  

In theory, a salary cap lowers the gap between the highest and lowest-valued teams. It ensures that a floor exists to force clubs to spend while a ceiling keeps teams from overspending. This works so well in American sports because of a lack of relegation.

PHOTO: Sky Sports

Whether this vote on a cap even happens is one thing, but how would it look implemented? A floor is unlikely to make any sort of impact, but the ceiling could impact the likes of City and Chelsea. What’s also interesting to consider is if a cap being adopted by the Prem would translate to the rest of Europe.

Plenty of this season’s biggest reports stem from issues regarding financial regulation. Adopting a salary cap would be tough but may present a chance to fix the gaps in spending across the Prem.


According to reports from The Athletic, serious discussions will be had in the coming months regarding the implementation of a salary cap in the Premier League. While softer salary cap concepts, like FFP, exist, a hard cap like in American leagues would be the first of its kind at that level.

Fans of American sports have long been familiar with salary caps in respective leagues. To most, it’s either the most exciting part of an offseason or hell. A single rule can make or break teams’ seasons.

At its core, caps function like FFP or any other measure; they aim to reduce the inequality between teams and level the playing. By using open space, teams dole out contracts and trades to players who may have never joined their team. On the flip side, it forces teams to be more careful about their finances and caps the talent a team can accrue. 

PHOTO: Yahoo! News

However, teams that want/can spend more will deal with the consequences. Valuable NBA teams, for the most part, are willing to deal with the punishments because they can keep contending.

By no means is a perfect system; the best part of caps are floors, which can give players financial stability. Additionally, in American leagues, floors force teams to have talented players even if the team is rebuilding.  Of course, cheap owners can still take advantage of this, but it feels like this would be less of an issue in Europe.

The reason why this works so well in American sports is that relegation doesn’t exist, meaning that owners still make money and don’t need to spend. Everywhere else, teams desperately try to avoid relegation, which can sometimes lead to financial instability. Along with richer and richer owners buying up clubs, there is no one-fit solution to fixing inequality in football.

At face value, caps and floors combat issues with competitiveness while addressing supposed inequality among billionaires. In reality, it can only function without threats of losing access to the cash cow.


FFP was an easier sell, as it always allowed clubs to spend but forced them to produce results within a period of time. Implementing any sort of cap likely won’t kill lower clubs, but it’s easy to see larger clubs willing to protest it.

If the punishments doled out to Everton and Nottingham, prove one thing, relegation-threatened clubs typically try to spend. It’s hard to think of many clubs in recent memory that avoided spending to avoid relegation. For the league, they don’t want clubs threatening their financial stability for one season of survival.   


Unlike American sports, the threat of relegation can severely cripple a club if they fall. Thus, FFP makes more sense to regulate clubs rather than either a salary cap or floor. Players will still get paid a fair wage, and clubs are desperate to bring in talent. 

Truthfully, most clubs wouldn’t be totally impacted by implementing new regulations. As is the case for many teams in America.


PHOTO: Getty Images

United already came out against this idea and it wouldn’t be surprising to see other top six clubs join them. This is who the new rules are meant to limit: the high-spending clubs that can more or less get around FFP. Additionally, it’s why this is a tough sell as long as the TV money still pushes the Prem far beyond other leagues.

Until the Prem’s financial supremacy is threatened, there is no reason to stop spending like crazy. Chelsea understood this with the contracts they handed out to keep control of their players long-term. There’s recognition that the new TV deal may not be what the team expected, but until there is more of a need for revenue sharing, caps will be rejected by the league’s elite.

For the majority of teams, caps, and floors will have little impact on them and may help catch ground on the top six. However, the true deciding teams will allow changes to happen when it will benefit them.


Of all the off-pitch issues, none have really dominated the headlines like those regarding clubs’ finances. The league seems to understand this and is aiming to address the issues plaguing it.
However, if they’re serious about reforming the league’s issues, it will be a long, uphill battle.

PHOTO: ESPN

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