It’s long been said that there are some aspects of American sports that European clubs would welcome if not for its ages of tradition.
One of the more popular theories is that the biggest clubs in Europe would welcome the elimination of relegation from the top flight. Another is the idea of a cap on player wages.
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German federation boss Fritz Keller proffered this idea Tuesday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and it will be sure to receive tepid reaction at best.
“We must bring professional football closer to the people again,” he told the federation’s website. “We have to think about a salary cap. Commissions for player advisors and huge transfer sums are increasingly irritating society and alienate it from our beloved sport. [The coronavirus crisis] offers the opportunity to look ahead and to reposition football in order to preserve it for future generations.”
A few things about something that will almost certainly not take place. First and foremost, “bringing professional football closer to the people” is an admirable goal but a salary cap is just stopping the wealth potential of a new class of people (Unless, of course, they’ll also be putting a cap on how much executives and owners can keep in their coffers after a successful season).
Also, the first league to implement a cap, depending on how high the cap is, will immediately hamstring its clubs in terms of keeping their best players and maintaining depth. It would have to be universally adopted by all of the major leagues.
And watching how clubs like Real Madrid and PSG have operated, the idea that they’d accept something like this is frankly hilarious. Federation and confederations would have to double and triple its monitoring of off the books payments. A cap may also accelerate the idea of a super league.
On the other hand, the elimination of extra agent fees would be a fascinating experiment. It always reads funny when you know an agent is getting X percent of a transfer fee and then an additional pay-out by the club. This could definitely use some tinkering, at least in how it’s relayed to the public.