Millwall chairman John Berylson believes the financial problems caused by coronavirus may actually end up creating a more level playing field in football, writes Toby Porter.
Clubs with no income because of lockdown have been forced to make difficult choices about the future – and the Lions chief believes some might come into line about breaking the bank in a gamble to reach the Premier League.
In a week when reports have suggested as many as half of Championship clubs are for sale, the 66-year-old Den supremo said: “Every team we play will have someone in the squad who will be paid £100,000 a week.
“No one is obeying the rules. The outcome of that is boom and bust. Don’t forget what that does to the fans.
“But after this, clubs might stop looking for loopholes and stop having massive payrolls.
“I look forward to the day some clubs are forced to play the same way we have, with similar financial structures.
“I’m tired of teams finding a way around the rules. I look forward to the end of gimmicks.
“The best way to run a club is by picking the best managers and coaches and players – as opposed to financial trickery of the past.
“That has been the problem – we have abided by the rules.
“We don’t try and get around them – but a lot of other clubs do.
“I look forward to the day we are fighting on an even playing field.”
“We are currently two points off sixth place.
“Imagine if people were forced to obey the rules and there were real consequences for their actions.
“That is something I hope will happen in the future.”
Manager Gary Rowett said: “We have been very lucky with John because when he has had the chance to sell players at a profit, he has always focused on the quality of the team instead.
“He could have sold players and kept the profits.
“Hopefully fans appreciate that his mindset is long-term for the club. A lot of clubs which have pushed hard to reach the Premier League are now having to reset. There will be casualties.
“But we have been sensible for a long time. That is a huge help. We are lucky.
“The conversations are all about being sensible and successful.
“He owns a club in a prime area and has opportunities to sell.
Instead, he is focused on making the team competitive. That is not the norm.”
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