AFC Fylde owner hopes the National League introduces a salary cap

AFC Fylde owner David HaythornthwaiteAFC Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite
AFC Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite | jpimedia
AFC Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite admits he’s “delighted” the prospect of introducing a salary cap is now on the agenda.

In his latest video for the club website, Haythornthwaite discusses a number of ideas to help make the game more sustainable in the longer term.

Top of the list for Haythornthwaite would be the introduction of a new law that would limit what clubs are able to spend on player wages.

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“I’m absolutely delighted – as I’m sure all chairmen are – that this conversation is starting because salaries at all levels are ludicrous,” he said.

“If we go down to our league and the lower leagues, there are some ridiculous salaries being paid to players and I think that will stop.

“I’m in conversation with chairmen at this moment in time and at the moment I think they’re talking about £2.5m in League One and £1.25m in League Two.

“This means, in League Two, you will get in solidarity payments about £900,000 to £1m.

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“If we had won at Wembley last season and had been promoted, we were going to get that figure.

“If you’re then saying the salary cap is going to be £1.25m, almost all of your solidarity payments take care of your wages. Then your crowd and the other income you get can pay the rest of the staff.

“You start to get to some sort of normality and sense of sustainability, which makes tremendous sense to me.”

Haythornthwaite says he’s more than happy to lead the fight at National League level, adding: “I was speaking to Gary Neville, who is of course involved with Salford City, and he told me there are about 10 chairmen of clubs in League Two and 10 chairmen in League One driving this.

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“It’s self-driven, it’s not coming from the EFL, and I think that’s the right way to do it.

“I hope in our league the chairmen will come together. It’s one of the initiatives that I’m going to take on and will write to all the chairmen in our league to try and get a working committee together.

“A salary cap for the National League makes absolute sense.

“When you come up with an idea you’ve got to be able to give some sort of indication of what your plan would be. The number that I’ve bounced past a couple of people is about £750,000.

“Some people would argue for less, others would argue for higher – but when we got to Wembley last year our wage bill was around that £750,000 figure.

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Leyton Orient told me you can’t get promoted without spending £1.25m, but I know it’s possible to do it for less. We put together a pretty damn good squad for £750,000.

“I would also argue that the cap should be no more than £750 a week. Some people won’t particularly like my view on that, but we need to start getting real.

“This would make us all much more selective in what we do and it also makes our manager’s skills a lot more important. They won’t be able to just buy their way to glory.

“A salary cap is a definite, we need it. I think spectators would have a greater respect for footballers, so only good things could come out of this.”