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'We can't compete': What managers have said about League One spending

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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‘Crazy’ spending in League One has been a big talking point in recent months, and several managers have addressed the issue.

Last summer, EFL clubs voted in salary capping rules which restricted third tier sides to a budget of £2.5 million per year.

However, these rules were scrapped following complaints from the players’ union the Professional Footballers' Association.

Now, League One clubs can spend up to 60% of turnover on player-related expenditure, or 75% in the year following relegation from the Championship.

Here’s what the managers have said.

Ian Evatt

“I want us to be competitive, of course, but I don’t want us to overspend. I want the club to be sustainable,” said the Wanderers boss.

“I don’t want the owners to have to keep finding and ploughing money into the club with a good business model.

“Some of the money I hear being spent around League One is crazy, but we are not going to do that. We are not that football club anymore.”

Paul Warne

Rotherham chief Warne said: “Anyone coming up from League One will find the divide is massive. If the smaller teams come up, the task is getting greater and greater and it’s turning into a Premier League 2 and the rest in my opinion.

“There are some owners who are throwing obscene amounts of money at it. If you look at Bournemouth, the money they threw and the success they’ve got, it is encouraging people to throw money at it because they all want the promised land of the Premier League.

“The problem is if two or three in the Championship throw real money at it, then the others do as well if they want to compete and it’s a rolling effect, it gets greater and greater.”

Nigel Adkins

“What you’ll find is that a couple of clubs have spent a hell of a lot more money with players and agents than other clubs have done, to attract players,” said the Charlton boss.

“To use our football club as a prime example, nearly going out of existence and saved by the owner and the supporters – (it’s about) making sure we don’t put ourselves in that position moving forward.

“We’re still in a very delicate position across world football, especially in the lower leagues.”

Danny Cowley

Portsmouth chief Cowley said: “Ultimately we can’t compete with some clubs in this division.

“You’re looking at the top end of the division this year and it’s gone crazy financially. I’ve lived this league with Lincoln two years ago and the top teams are paying double what they paid then.

“We’ve got brilliant owners who are doing things sustainably, which is absolutely the right thing to do. But when you do it in a sustainable way, you have to do it in an intelligent way.”

Karl Robinson

“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,” said the Oxford boss.

“There are teams in our league offering £10,000 a week to defenders and you’re thinking ‘this is ludicrous where this league is going’. We can’t get anywhere near this.”

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