David Gold has announced that English football’s finances are in dire straits, with the biggest problem being player’s wages.
The Joint-Chairman of West Ham United believes the current culture of financial losses and the dramatic increase in wage-bills over the past twenty years must change or more clubs will face the same fate as bankrupted Glasgow Rangers.
A recent audit of the English Leagues revealed that only League Two was making cumulative profit, largely due to it being the only league with wage control rules as a percentage of a club’s revenue.
The Premier League is a much different story, with an average of 70% of club income being spent on players’ wages. When the Premier League was formed twenty years ago, the ratio stood at approximately 40%.
In 2010, the average wage for a player was a staggering 35k-per-week, however this figure has risen following Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Yaya Toure being offered contracts of over 200k per-week.
Last season, the Premier League collectively made a loss of £361billion, despite generating a £2.6billion turnover. This campaign, Gold believes the bottom 12 clubs will make a loss and the three teams relegated will suffer further losses in television and sponsorship deals.
The Hammers’ chairman has suggested his own proposals to change their Premier League’s monetary fortunes and eradicate the current bad habits being practiced.
“We need to regulate spending, reduce debt and ensure profit – and quickly” Gold wrote in his article on the Huffington Post.
“We have to stop football clubs running up debt or we’ll have an even more desperate situation. We can’t have clubs running with large percentage of debt against their turnover.
“I would propose that there is a robust and clear debt cap – enforced by a transfer ban on incoming players or a points deduction, which would have to be set with current levels in mind and then reduced, via a drip feed over the course of a structured year by year programme.
“Market forces would then control wages and manage the expectations of their agents.
“Premier League rules state that 14 votes would be needed to pass new laws. I think there are 14 chairmen ready for change to protect the greatest football league the world has ever seen, to do the right thing in the best interest of football as a whole” he added.