Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Why the Premier League Is Considering a Salary Cap

premier league salary cap

The Premier League, known for its financial disparities among clubs, is now contemplating a salary cap. In an effort to address the growing gap between the top and bottom teams, the proposed cap would be tied to the last-place team’s TV revenue. This potential change has the potential to transform English football and create a more level playing field.

The Need for Change

European soccer has witnessed a significant divide between the financially prosperous clubs and those with more limited resources. This divide is greater in football than in any other sports league globally. The Premier League, recognizing the need for a shift, is exploring the implementation of a salary cap called “anchoring.” Under this system, the cap would be based on the TV revenue allocated to the last-place club.

An Inexact Science

According to a report from The Times of London, the proposed salary cap could be set at four times the last place team’s revenue. However, this figure is subject to further discussions and may be revised. For instance, in the 2021-22 season, relegated Norwich City received £100.6 million for finishing last. In this case, the salary cap would have been £402.4 million. However, Manchester United, the highest-spending team that season, had a total expenditure of £384 million, rendering the cap less effective as a deterrent.

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The Influence of European Competitions

The top English clubs that participated in the UEFA Champions League – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham – earned additional revenue ranging from £70 to £115 million. Furthermore, as Manchester City and Chelsea have secured spots in the new expanded Club World Cup starting in 2025, their extra revenue may increase by £30 million. These financial rewards add another layer to the discussion surrounding anchoring and its potential implementation.

Taking Inspiration from the NFL

The Premier League may be drawing inspiration from the National Football League (NFL) in the United States, where a salary cap has played a crucial role in creating parity and increasing the league’s popularity. By considering a salary cap, the Premier League aims to introduce more competition and excitement into the English football landscape. The success of the NFL model has proven that this type of regulation can have a significant impact on the sport.


1. How will the Premier League salary cap be determined?

The salary cap being discussed is tied to the TV revenue allocated to the last-place club. The exact formula is still under consideration and subject to further discussions.

2. Will the salary cap limit spending on transfers as well?

While the specific details are yet to be determined, it is likely that the salary cap will encompass both wages and transfer fees.

3. When can we expect changes to be implemented?

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As of now, the discussions are ongoing. No timeline has been set for the potential implementation of a salary cap in the Premier League.


The Premier League’s contemplation of a salary cap marks a potential turning point for English football. By addressing the disparity between clubs, the league aims to promote fairness and competitiveness. While the details are still being ironed out, the proposed salary cap could reshape the football landscape, making it more balanced and exciting for fans and players alike.

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