Charlton Athletic voted against League One salary cap – only player exodus and relegation helped them trim wagebill

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Steve Gallen has revealed that Charlton Athletic voted against the League One salary cap – and only the fact they had a decimated squad in the close season meant they could easily comply with it.

The EFL announced at the start of August that spending control had been brought in with clubs in England’s third tiers not allowed to spend more than £2.5million annually.

Gallen – asked about the curb on expenditure, said: “In principle, I agree with it.

“But my thought was ‘it’s too much, too quick’. If you’re in League One already and you’re around the £3-4million and you’ve got to reduce a little bit then it’s maybe not that big of a deal. We didn’t have that problem financially because we got relegated – on a small budget – and lost lots of players.

“We were way under it. That’s why we’ve been able to do so many players after the vote and other clubs can’t, because they were up to their budget.

“The truth is that it felt at the time like we got hit with four kicks in the teeth; we were relegated, about 10 days later this vote came in – and we lost that because we voted for no wage cap – and before that Sheffield Wednesday were supposed to be getting a points deduction which happened for the following season. Then we found out we were under a total embargo.

“We had [Alex] Gilbey and [Conor] Washington signed – all done. Medicals, pictures of us shaking hands – we sent off to the league and they said ‘no, no – you’re in an embargo’.

“Chris Parkes [club secretary] went back saying: ‘Yeah, we know that’. We’ve got a million off our wagebill and we’re bringing these in for way under that, 10 per cent or whatever’. But they said no – you can’t do anything’.”

In the end Charlton got dispensation to bring in the two players. But they had to wait for Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover to be approved before going on to make a further 11 signings.


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