June 13, 2021

League One manager hits out at frivolous spending as transfer window opens

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The transfer window opened today and clubs in the EFL are preparing to bolster their squads in anticipation of next season.

With many teams having revealed their retained lists, plenty of rosters remain threadbare especially in Leagues One and Two.

But with the pandemic having decimated revenue streams for well over a year, clubs are having to monitor their finances even more closely. And one manager in the third tier has hit out at what he calls ‘ludicrous’ spending.

Karl Robinson has led Oxford United to the League One play-offs in the past two seasons, and on a relatively modest budget.



Karl Robinson’s Oxford have fallen at the play-off hurdle the past two seasons

But while he admits he’ll have more funds available this summer than he did last year, he still admits there are others in the division who his side cannot compete with financially.

“We’re going to spend more money next season,” Robinson told BBC Radio Oxford.

We have a transfer pot available which is brilliant, but we’re probably going to be in the same position in the (spending) league.

“We’re having to spend to stay anywhere near. There are teams in our league offering £10,000 a week for defenders and you’re thinking ‘this is ludicrous where this league is going’.

“We can’t get anywhere near this.”

Last year, shortly before the start of the delayed 2020-21 campaign, the EFL brought in a new salary cap for Leagues One and Two.

It was aimed at increasing the financial controls of clubs, with a cap of £2.5million per year for teams in the third tier and £1.5m for those in the fourth division.

But by February this year the caps were withdrawn after the PFA criticised the EFL for “rushing through” the vote on salary caps, describing their adoption as “unlawful and unenforceable”.

Clubs in those two leagues still have to abide by Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP). In League Two, clubs can spend up to 50 per cent of turnover on player-related expenditure.

That rises to 60 per cent in League One, or 75 per cent in the year immediately following relegation from the Championship.

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