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12 EPL clubs agree on salary cap

12 EPL clubs agree on salary cap

Set to limit the amount of money a team can spend on players’ wages, clubs in the Ethiopian Premier League have agreed to put a cap on players’ wages.

Weeks ago, the Sport Commission in collaboration with the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF), the Ethiopian Premier League, clubs’ representatives and regional football federations held a meeting on putting a cap on players’ salaries. After the research proposal was presented by EFF club licensing manager, Tedla Dagnachew; the representatives discussed on the pros and cons of introducing a salary cap.

After the final discussion, the representatives voted to reach a proposed salary cap of 50,000 birr (USD 1,736) on a monthly basis. Except for four clubs, 12 Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) clubs’ representatives have agreed on the salary cap. Ethiopia Coffee, St. George, Welwalo Adigrat University and Sihul Shire have not taken part in the meeting.

Several elaborations about salary caps shows that a particular club implements a salary cap to keep the overall cost of the organization down. Furthermore, in regard to the decision, current contracts of players’ will be terminated in order to sign a new one with the salary cap taken into account. In addition, the meeting also addressed issues concerning the number of foreign players a club is allowed to sign, and will decide on whether to reduce it from five to three or to two players.

It is to be recalled that the decision came due to reasons of an improper financial flow going towards players. The research found out that many clubs were unable to balance their annual budget leading them into crisis. During the meeting, it was pointed out that millions of birr is spent on salary, transportation and hotel expenses.

According to the research, all clubs across the country spend about 2.2 billion birr a year. Due to this reason and the unstructured way of managing the club along with high expenses, has blocked the path for young, homegrown players to be developed and integrated into the main squad.

Mainly funded from government coffers, clubs depend on the government’s budget allotted to them. More than 95 percent of EPL clubs’ expenses are funded by the government since they are managed by city administrations.

Based on the 2018/19 EPL season salary report, on a monthly basis, several clubs have registered a high salary payout per month paying a single player as high as 304,000 birr (USD 10,555) and the lowest earning of a player ranging from 3000 birr (USD 104).  

However, following the decision taken by the Ethiopian football governing body, various club players have complained. The recently founded Ethiopian Players Association is preparing to officially submit a complaint to the local football governing body, CAF and FIFA.

Mekele 70 Enderta right back Seyoum Tesfaye, argued that putting a cap on salary does not solve the country’s football problems unless clubs advance their management skills. “The increasing players’ salary is not the main reason for the deterioration of football. It is better to change the club management,” Seyoum told The Reporter.

“We know former football players in Ethiopia did not have a good salary. Due to this reason they were forced to go abroad,” he said.

Former Ethiopia Coffee, Fasil City, Dire Dawa City and Defense midfielder, Dawit Estifanos, argues that the clubs need to balance their finances and should take into consideration on how to use their annual budget.

“Every club should fix their budget through proper leadership. They have to consider the pros and cons of the expenses,” Dawit told The Reporter adding, “We have a family to look after and playing football is not like any other business. So, the football governing body should reconsider the decision.”

The governing body is set to hold another meeting with higher league and league one club representatives this weekend.