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To salary cap or not to salary cap, that is the question

To salary cap or not to salary cap, that is the question

English rugby's player drain to France, EU authorities considering measures to cap salaries in football clubs, and the David Beckham saga.
Rarely have sportsmen's wages been under such intense scrutiny.
Former England captain Beckham's five-year contract with Los Angeles from the summer of 2007 would not have been possible under previous MLS salary cap rules, which limited teams to an overall annual salary of about two million dollars.
The designated player rule, now dubbed in the US as "the Beckham rule," came into existence to allow each team one player whose salary did not count towards that cap.
Meanwhile, English Rugby Football Union Director of Elite Rugby Rob Andrew insists there is no chance of the governing body only handing England caps to players based at home clubs.
The salary cap of English rugby union's Premiership has many believing the player drain to France, where there is no salary cap, will continue.
The RFU are concerned by the potential long-term impact of the announcement that James Haskell, Riki Flutey and Tom Palmer will leave Wasps for the French championship next season.
Haskell and Palmer will join Stade Francais, while Flutey has agreed a switch to Brive, where England team-mate Andy Goode already plays.
Clubs in New Zealand and Australia have decided to pick only home-based players to try to fend off cash-rich northern-hemisphere clubs.
But, although Andrew admits the RFU would have to monitor the situation carefully, he does not believe restricting England selection is necessary yet.
The president of European football's governing body UEFA, Michel Platini, has already addressed the European Parliament, warning that football faces imploding if it did not take steps to face up to the global economic crisis, one of the options of which is a salary cap across European football.
"European clubs are currently telling us that our system is in danger of financially imploding in the medium term," he said.
In a 90-minute speech, the former France international urged the European lawmakers to grant sport certain exemptions from competition law as the EU authorities increasingly mull moves including capping player salaries and expenditure of clubs.
Noting "astronomical bids" for top players in today's game - a coded reference to Manchester City's doomed pursuit of the likes of Brazilian star Kaka - Platini said UEFA wanted to establish rules of "financial fair play" in an attempt to stem a growing gulf between the rich elite and the rest.
Salary caps are already in use by major leagues around the world including the NHL, NFL, soccer's MLS and the NBA in the United States as a way of keeping club's costs down and ensuring a fairer playing field in terms of playing abilities between teams.
In England, both the top rugby union league, the Premiership, and rugby league's Super League have salary cap arrangements.
Under the 1995 Bosman ruling, professional footballers can move freely between clubs across the continent, like employees in other types of work, at the end of their contracts.
Hence a salary cap in one country would just mean players going to the club with the biggest amount of cash in another country.


Updated : 2021-04-13 19:32 GMT+08:00