Players “will rightly be angry” that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is proposing a salary cap in European soccer, according to the executive director of the Association of Professional Footballers, Maheta Molango.
Ceferin said in an interview with Men In Blazers, published on Tuesday, that UEFA hoped to introduce a salary cap “as soon as possible” and that “everyone agrees” that it is the best way forward, from the big clubs to the small clubs.
However, Molango insists that limiting what players can win is not the answer to achieving sustainability in the European game.
“When the players read that ‘everyone agrees’ to limit their salaries, I think they will be rightly angry,” he said in a statement sent to the PA news agency.
“Without proper engagement or consultation, gamers are continually being asked to play more and more games. New competitions are being created and existing tournaments are being expanded. All this generates more money within football.
“Limiting the salaries of those who create the ‘product’ from which others continue to benefit is not a solution to ensure better financial management by leagues and clubs.
“Soccer leaders will quickly create a real problem if they continue to treat players this way.
“They need to be treated as the most important stakeholders in the game and they need to be at the center of these conversations.”
PA understands that UEFA will present the idea of an absolute cap at a meeting of its club licensing committee on Friday, which will be the starting point for discussion and consultation with stakeholders, including the global players’ union FIFPRO.
UEFA had chosen not to seek a salary cap when it last inquired about in-game cost control mechanisms on the grounds that a cap would be unfeasible under European Union employment law, PA understands.
Instead, UEFA approved a new squad cost rule, according to which by 2025 the amount spent on salaries and transfer fees must not exceed 70 percent of a club’s turnover.
However, an outright cap is now back on the agenda and UEFA is understood to have raised the idea again with the European Club Association earlier this year.
A senior European soccer executive said there were widely differing views between clubs on how a cap could be implemented, but he anticipated it would put a cap on the overall cost of the team, rather than what a single player could earn.
He anticipated that it could be set at a higher level than the most expensive wage bill currently in European football to prevent clubs from defaulting immediately, but set a ceiling that would help control costs in the future and then be adjusted over time.
Some clubs are known to favor salary caps, which provide greater certainty about costs, and a cap was understood to be part of plans for the European Super League which was launched in April 2021 but quickly collapsed.
Ceferin told the US news outlet Men In Blazers: “In the future, we have to seriously think about a salary cap. If budgets skyrocket, then our competitive balance is in trouble.
“It’s not about the owners, it’s about the value of the competition, because if five clubs always win, it doesn’t make sense anymore.
“I already spoke to some people from the European Commission, we are trying to push that.
“But it has to be a collective agreement, all the leagues and UEFA. Because if we do it and the other leagues don’t, then it doesn’t make sense.
“Surprisingly, everyone agrees: big clubs, small clubs, state clubs, clubs owned by billionaires… they all agree.
“I hope it can be done as soon as possible. We just started arguing about it. I think that’s the solution.”