Some exciting news to read early in the morning! Italian Serie B, second tier of their football is set to introduce salary caps for their players starting next season. All contracts signed from July 2013 will need to be of a maximum of €150,000 in salary and €150,000 in bonuses.
It is a very interesting measure, that comes with another curious one: teams will be allowed only 20 players over 21 on season 14/15, thus, increasing the number of youngsters in the squads and making wages lower.
If clubs will abuse of the €150,000 bonuses, that is something to be seen, but it is great to see a league from a top European country to apply these measures. For the first time it will be possible to see if salary caps can or cannot work in practice when talking about football.
This matter has been discussed endlessly without anyone being able to reach any real conclusion, but this Italian experiment will certainly do some good. Something that really helps in this case, is that there is no shortage of quality players wanting to play in Italy for this kind of money.
Last month, Premier League clubs scheduled a meeting to start the talks about the Financial Fair Play that will be adopted by the organizations, probably a similar one to UEFA’s.
I won’t go into the details of why salary caps could be good or bad, as this can be found in Wikipedia’s article about the matter, which covers not only football (soccer there) but a wide range of sports that takes it for granted.
The only place that has a similar cap is the MLS, which is not exactly the same as the one being implemented in Italy, but still, the first of its kind in a reputable league. That one in USA has many critics, Thierry Henry being one of them bringing the usual with valid points.
There is much to learn about this when talking about football, but one thing is for sure, what Serie B is doing will help football executives to learn how to improve their finances to reach stability and long term sustainability. Good governance for the football industry, that’s what everyone is after.
Good luck Serie B!