Salary cap not practical - Jim

WHILE accepting that many club chairmen in the Football League would welcome a salary cap, Blues boss Jim Magilton doesn't believe it is feasible.

By Derek Davis

WHILE accepting that many club chairmen in the Football League would welcome a salary cap, Blues boss Jim Magilton doesn't believe it is feasible.

As the credit crunch bites and more leading figures in the game are looking to stem the amount of debt clubs are getting into salary capping is one way FA chairman Lord Treisman feels finances can be brought under control.

But Magilton is not so sure and said: “A salary cap is a good idea but it would cause massive ructions and it is not practical.

“You look at some like John Terry and Frank Lampard, they are not going to accept a salary cap because they are a product and while they are in demand they will be paid accordingly

“When Sky jumped on board agents and players saw an opportunity and wanted to be paid accordingly.

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“Wages have gone astronomical since then and you are never going to compete with the big four because the Champions' League is so rich.

“I can see it happening in the Championship where clubs do pay good money and there are those who have no ambition to play in the Premier League but know they will finish playing has very wealthy people

“A lot of Football League chairmen would be delighted to bring it in.

“We have a structure at Ipswich Town where we are prepared to go to a certain limit and again if we can get a good player here and he knows the structure but still wants to come then that says a lot about that person.”

A form of salary capping has been tried in Leagues One and Two but the experiment has not yet shown any benefits. Magilton feels the amount paid by television will keep football at the top level alive for some time, although admits global events have shown how quickly things can collapse.

He said: “It would only take one club to go and it could become a house of cards. I don't think it will happen but you can never say never.

“You look at how close Leeds United came to imploding completely. They went from semi-finals of the Champions' League to almost going out of business it is incredible so it is possible.

“At the moment the demand is so great and you have Sky and Setanta competing I can't see it happening.”

The problems in the Icelandic banking system have thrown West Ham's future into doubt although again Magilton believes they will survive.

He said: “West Ham won't go bust because there are too many East End fans who would not allow it. There would be a revolution.

“Again you just don't know.”

The biggest effect of the recession will be most tangible in terms of gates.

Magilton said: “When we have three home games in a week then it is difficult even in the best of times, to ask supporters to come three times.

“It is going to affect attendance and affect how people budget their money because they have other priorities.”

One way that football can be helped is a better distribution of wealth cascading down the pyramid, as David Sheepshanks has constantly campaigned for.

Magilton said: “The chairman has championed the Football League cause for quite some time now because it is disproportionate in regards to money so it would be nice if we were all handed a few more quid in order to challenge.

“If you can then get into the Premier League then that is the prize and even if you are relegated the parachute payments give you an opportunity to get back in.”