Even if most of the leagues have returned, the customer’s absence still causes a great financial shock for football clubs. One of the possible discussions for a post-pandemic period would be the implementation of a salary cap for players.
THE BUBBLE STILL HASN’T BURST, BUT IT EVENTUALLY WILL…
Well when the COVID-19 outbreak spread across Europe, it was something still very new, and everyone was extremely afraid of it.
It seemed like the end of the world and if this doesn’t end up taking all of our lives away, I hope that at least it served for us to learn a lot of lessons, to improve as humankind.
In football, the chaotic and obscure scenario didn’t allow executives to imagine a positive future. A lot of football personalities ended up saying the same thing: “the football bubble is going to burst”.
That bubble is nothing more than this parallel universe that the elite of world football lives on, with astronomical salaries and more and more expensive signings, amongst other things completely out of reality for the common citizen.
Football returned in Europe, but that doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. Every league is being played behind closed doors and no matter how much the television broadcasters pay them well, as well as the sponsors, the big clubs are struggling with the lack of fans at their stadiums.
Besides the ticketing, that is a huge source of revenue, the multipurpose arenas also end up representing an entire day of expenditure, with a lot of tourists on each match, which represents a lot of money for the clubs.
A lot of clubs ended up negotiating salary cuts for the players, but how long is that going to last? The institutions are depending on a deal with the players, or will they in fact setup a change for the future?
The bill is too expensive. There are a lot of players winning a lot of money and the revenue isn’t the same as a couple of months ago.
The consequences will maybe only be visible in the future, because if “normal” life takes some time to return in fact, not even the European giants will be able to withstand so many superstars winning stupid amounts of money.
THERE ARE ALREADY PEOPLE WHO SUGGEST AN ADJUSTMENT
There are two possible paths to choose: the market laws, where the demand and supply will end up setting the prices, or a regulation of what is earned in the world of football.
The president of the German football association Fritz Keller defends the 2nd option: “we have to talk about salary caps”, asking UEFA to create a salary pattern, according to him, “on a category righteous for this planet”.
Another one who is in favour of regulation is the president of the Direction Nationale de Contrôle de Gestion, an independent commission that monitors the accounting of the professional football clubs in France.
According to Jean-Mark Mickeler, we must start reflecting about a maximum salary cap, and/or, a limit to the number of players under contract.
UEFA’s presidente Alexander Ceferin said on an interview to “The Guardian” that the possibility of a “luxury tax” is being analysed. It would work as sort of a “tax” for the clubs who spend too much on payments to their players.
IF THERE ARE PEOPLE IN FAVOUR, THERE ARE ALSO PEOPLE AGAINST IT…
In Spain, La Liga’s president Javier Tebas opposed himself to this possibility. According to Tebas, the possibility of football emulating the NBA or NFL, imposing restrictions to the clubs isn’t possible. And he also said that they wouldn’t negotiate with their own workers.
The NBA is an example that Alexander Ceferin has been analysing, to try and somehow adapt it to football. The NBA’s salary cap prevents a team from spending above a maximum limit.
Then the team has to adjust its signings, the salaries of a player they already own, or the signing of a lot of stars, so they can fit on their pre-designated budget.
That ends up balancing the competition, not allowing any franchise to just dump in a huge amount of money and simply make a very over-powered franchise from scratch.
For something similar to be implemented in football, it would need to be much better engineered than in the NBA. So that the patterns that are engrained in European football were modified, all the clubs and football associations would need to unite.
That would be the great problem, since it is more and more common for a millionaire to invest its fortune in clubs, which means these clubs that have these “owners” will not want to accept these limitations.
It doesn’t matter if it is for the good of football or for a stronger and more balanced league. Football for these clubs is only good when they are winning and if these days they have someone willing to invest on them, they don’t care about the rest.