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Clarets in favour of a level playing field
BURNLEY co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz has revealed the Clarets would be in favour of radical salary cap proposals put forward at a Championship summit meeting.
Representatives from 23 of the 24 clubs in the division met in London to discuss a number of measures to offset the spiralling costs in football.
Parachute payments were at the forefront of disucssions, with clubs arguing the market had become distorted.
Former Burnley chairman Barry Kilby once led the fight against the millions of pounds given to clubs relegated from the Premier League, only to, ironically, become beneficiaries of the scheme after a season in the top flight.
In the future it is proposed that relegated clubs will get £23million in their first year out of the Premier League, £18m in the second following by £9m a year for the next two years. In contrast, clubs not in receipt of parachute payments will receive around £2.3m in solidarity payments from the Premier League.
Burnley are nearing the end of their third of four parachute payments.
Having already made cuts, there are plans to trim Burnley’s wage bill further for the 2013/14 campaign. At the start of this season it totalled just over £6.5m.
Financial Fairplay Regulations, set to come into force next season, are designed to encourage clubs out of debt and manage their finances better. Clubs will be fined if they post annual losses in excess of £8m in the first year under FFP, and £5m the year after.
Salary capping was offered as another solution to making the Championship a fairer competition, and Banaszkiewicz, who attended the meeting on behalf of Burnley, agreed it would be a positive move.
“It might make it a bit more of a level playing field,” he said.
“There is a gulf between clubs throwing money at it and those that aren’t.
“A lot of people – not just Burnley – are sick and tired of football becoming a bit of a pot to throw money at.
“We are going to work together with the Football League to try to come up with a solution.
“Wage capping is one of the options, and it does working in American football.
“There is a big gulf at the moment so this would make it fairer and allow us to spend more on resources.
“We are going to meet again to discuss what the best way forward is.”
Banaszkiewicz does not fear that salary capping would make it more difficult for teams, like Burnley, to win promotion to the Premier League and attract the players to keep them there.
“Promotion can be achieved on smaller budgets as Reading, Swansea, Norwich, Blackpool and ourselves have proved. It’s not all about the money,” he said.
“But with promotion you would build your arsenal on the back of what money you get.
“Some teams go up and stay up. Some have clauses written into contracts for if they go down.”
He added: “It’s just a discussion at the moment, but we’re hoping that any changes are positive for Burnley.”
Another option on the table is likely to include the possibility of withholding a share of the Football League’s own distribution of its TV and sponsorship money from those clubs that are in receipt of parachute payments.
The payments of around £2.3m per Championship club could then be spread equally around the rest.
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