FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has called for there to be a discussion about the possibility of capping both transfer fees and salaries in football, in a development that could have massive consequences for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the footballing landscape and there have been calls for the game’s finances to be reformed.
Spurs have also been badly hit by the crisis, with the club announcing last week that they had taken out a £175m loan from the Bank of England to plug a £200m hole in expected revenue (BBC Sport).
Infantino referred to the proposals to cap wages and transfer fees as ‘interesting’ and called for an open dialogue on the subject.
In a letter to FIFA’s members, he wrote (as relayed by Sky Sports): “On the financial and governance aspects, I also heard some interesting proposals on a wide range of topics.
“From salary caps to transfer-fee caps or other taxation mechanisms, to the possible obligation for governing bodies, competition organisers and clubs to build reserves or to contribute to a reserve fund which can be of assistance in hours of need such as now.
“I personally advocate for clearer and stricter financial regulations, imposing full transparency and good governance principles, and not only limiting this to the transfer system, but to the entire football ecosystem.
“FIFA is doing already a lot of work on this area, even if we face some strong vested interests who fight against our plea for a better global governance in our sport.
“Dear friends, we will need your full support and commitment to move to the next level of good governance in football globally.
“I think that these and other measures, projects and ideas should be discussed at all levels. I know that this is something that will spark intense debate, but debate is healthy, and we should speak about it all together – as we stand together during this difficult period.”
Infantino also spoke about the importance of showing unity across all levels and aspects of the sport amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “The need for top club football to resume has understandably taken priority, but we must also consider national teams, women’s football, lower-tier domestic leagues, youth and the grassroots game.
“We have to show unity across all aspects of football and make sure football can resume in its globality. This is our priority and our financial relief plan will also follow this principle.
“In a constructive spirit of consultation that seeks to benefit all of football, FIFA is working hard to present a positive solution to the FIFA Council in the coming weeks.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While FIFA’s attempts to push through a salary cap is admirable, I doubt if it is something that will be implemented. Top clubs in Europe will likely fight the idea till the end. However, there is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis will lead to some financial reforms being passed.
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