Premier League looking at club wage caps to aid competition – Steve Parish

The Crystal Palace chairman said there was “change afoot”.

Jamie Gardner
Thursday 19 October 2023 16:28 BST
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish says Premier League clubs are looking at the possibility of a cap on wage bills to keep the top flight competitive (Victoria Jones/PA)
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish says Premier League clubs are looking at the possibility of a cap on wage bills to keep the top flight competitive (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Premier League is looking at a cap on a club’s wage bill in order to keep the top flight competitive, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has said.

The league is looking at a variety of ways to maintain competitive balance, including anchoring – capping the richest club’s wage bills as a multiple of the television money earned by its bottom club.

“As far as competitive balance (is concerned), people need to be bold,” Parish said at the Leaders Week conference at Twickenham.

“I think there is change afoot. UEFA’s squad-cost caps are one idea. Maybe something that is a bit more rigid than that, with a hard cap at the top, that doesn’t take turnover into account, where there are vagaries of how that turnover comes about.

“There are really positive conversations going on about it. We also have to be very careful because there are also unintended consequences. Hopefully we will get somewhere that will be beneficial, not just to the clubs in the Premier League but to the whole pyramid and their ability to compete.

“We are voting for our competitors to be able to do better and challenge us.”

Parish backed the league’s decision to maintain the Saturday 3pm blackout in its next set of domestic television rights.

The league issued an Invitation To Tender (ITT) on Wednesday, featuring an increase from 200 to around 270 matches but keeping the blackout intact.

I think it is very important for participation and very important for attendance in the lower leagues, and culturally very important.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish on the Saturday 3pm blackout

“I think they made a good decision on keeping the 3pm (matches) off television,” he said.

“I think it is very important for participation and very important for attendance in the lower leagues, and culturally very important.”

The Premier League also confirmed that all matches displaced to the Sunday 2pm slot due to clubs participating in the Europa League or the Europa Conference League on a Thursday night would now be televised.

“I think it’s very frustrating for supporters when a game gets displaced, it’s a big game, and there is maybe a lesser game on television. And that big game isn’t on. So I think increasing the number of games is a positive. The packages have been constructed in a way that they should create good and healthy competition, which is what the consumers want.”

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