Charlton Athletic and AFC Wimbledon are no longer under salary cap constraints after an independent arbitration panel ruled they should be scrapped.
The PFA had challenged the move by the EFL to impose spending controls.
League One narrowly voted the move in before the start of this season. And Addicks manager Lee Bowyer has aired his frustration on more than one occasion at how it has impeded them in the last two transfer windows.
Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover in September came after the salary cap was enforced – with a number of their promotion rivals opting to strengthen before the restrictions came into play.
The EFL issued a statement this afternoon. It said: “An independent arbitration panel has upheld a claim from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) that the EFL was in breach of the constitution of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee (PFNCC) by introducing ‘Squad Salary Caps’.
“In August 2020 following an extensive and comprehensive consultation process with EFL clubs, Leagues One and Two voted to adopt new financial controls that replaced the previous Salary Cost Management Protocols (SCMP).
“The PFA argued that the PFNCC’s remit to consider matters relating to the employment of, and any associated rules and regulations to professional players employed by EFL clubs, was not properly considered as part of the process to introduce the new rules and as a result served a notice of claim to that effect.
“The EFL and PFA then agreed to refer that matter to arbitration and after hearing submissions from both parties, an independent panel concluded that the EFL was in breach of its agreement as a member of the PFNCC.
“At the time of the adoption of the Salary Cap Rules, the EFL included a provision to ensure that any decision such as this would have the effect of reinstating the SCMP rules that were in operation during season 2019/20, which links player related expenditure to turnover.
“The EFL will now discuss the matter of financial controls and implications linked to this outcome at a series of meetings with its member clubs later this week.”
A PFA statement said: “The PFA welcomes the fact that the salary cap rules are automatically withdrawn and hopes to open constructive dialogue to agree reasonable and proportionate cost control measures for the future.
“Like everyone involved in football, the PFA wants to see sustainable clubs at all levels. We also recognise the huge economic pressure that clubs have come under due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“The PFA believes it is now in the best interest of the leagues, the clubs, and the players to work together and agree on rules that promote financial stability.”
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor added: “We were disappointed that the EFL decided to introduce salary cap proposals, which were voted through without the proper consideration or consultation with the PFNCC.
“As a result, in August 2020, the PFA served a notice of arbitration on the EFL stating the introduction of the new rules were in breach of obligations under the constitution of the PFNCC. We are pleased the panel upheld the PFA’s claim.”
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