The salary cap muddle

Clubs try to meet the salary ceiling in order to register footballers. Barça exceeds it and that prevents them from registering Messi and his new signings.


LaLiga clubs squeeze their accounts to meet the salary limit, that equation that establishes how much money teams can spend to pay the cost of their squads (players, coaches, coaching staff, subsidiary ...) and that is assuming a headache for many. Among them, Laporta, who cannot register Messi until he reduces it. The formula is simple: the income must be subtracted for overhead costs and debt repayment. The result is the maximum amount that can be allocated to staff spending. Marc Menchén, director and founder of 2Playbook, analyzes the keys to this system in As.

The question of all fans is what happens if a club exceeds that limit. "This last season several clubs have surpassed it. When you surpass it, you can no longer register anyone. Those who are there can play, but those who are joining, no. Until the limit is not below what LaLiga establishes. Pedro León he spent several months without playing for Getafe for that reason, "says Menchén.

What solutions are there to avoid overdoing it? Several: a capital increase (which Real Madrid and Barcelona cannot access as they are the members' club), an increase in income or a decrease in salaries. "Atlético has closed the season with € 80M in losses, but since it is a Sports Limited Company it has made a capital increase to cover the losses and pay debts. This will mean that this season it will have a higher salary mass than Barça. The only solution with a similar effect for Barcelona would be to sell a player for € 100M, but with the current market situation it is complicated. The real solution for the majors is to cut salaries. This economic situation will take three years to fix and there is no other option but to adapt salaries to real income ".

For this situation, in which the clubs have their limit exceeded, LaLiga has an escape route to be able to sign, but with a series of conditions. This is article 100 of its regulations for preparing budgets. "In order not to burden the national market, they have allowed that for each sale, they can invest 25% of said amount, even if you are exceeding. Thus, little by little they reduce the salary mass. If you take out a player who occupies a lot of salary mass (style Ramos) you can reinvest 50%. They reward you because you show that you are making great efforts to reduce. " Laporta now plays with these percentages, seeking to register Messi, Agüero, Eric García, Depay and Emerson.

Another of the concepts that people do not fully understand is amortization (when it is considered that after several seasons the money invested in a transfer has already been recovered). For example, the case of Pjanic, who arrived last season at Barça and there has been talk of his departure in the absence of amortizing € 45M. "If you remove him from the squad, what he has not amortized goes directly to the salary expense of the same season, further reducing your salary ceiling," says Menchén. But there is also another solution, even that can be beneficial, such as the exchange of footballers. As an example, the one that sounds between Saúl and Griezmann. According to the director of 2Playbook, "it has a double advantage because you release a high token and help to pay off the transfer." Barça still have 80 million to recover from Griezmann in two seasons (40 per year), but if Saúl arrived, valued at € 40M, for four years, this amortization would be 10 per season. This would allow the salary cap to be relaxed. It is certainly a puzzle that embitters many presidents.

Another key to this salary limit is in the clauses. It is recurrent sometimes to hear fans say that to try to deceive LaLiga's financial fair play the solution would be to lower the fixed salary and expand the one of easily achievable variables. But this is impossible. "LaLiga takes everything into account. If your contract stipulates that for playing so many games they give you so much money, that money is included for the limit. It is money that you have committed," says Menchén. Who considers that the two teams that are in the worst situation are Barcelona and Valencia: "Barcelona is public and notorious. Valencia is another one of the annoyed, since their situation was already complicated before the pandemic and this has been Betis is also there and may be another one that has problems, although it has relieved them to qualify for the Europa League and have that extra income. At the opposite pole would be the League champion: "Atlético are in a good position. Madrid, for their part, remains to be seen by how much they have closed that salary cut and see the savings that have been made. I don't think they have problems Like the rest, they are tight but without excessive complications ".

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