MLS Roundtable Special World Edition: Are Salary Caps Beneficial?

ThomasSenior Writer ISeptember 18, 2008

Soccer and sports in general is big business. Millions and millions of dollars are being spent each year in just salaries alone. Where does all this money come from? Well, you're the one paying over 50 bucks for a seat aren't you?

How could clubs across the world cut back on spending? One possibility is a salary cap. Is this good though?

To discuss this thought, Thomas, MLS co-community leader, invited his fellow MLS leader Joe Guarr and world football community leader Salaar Shamsi.



When I first thought of a salary cap in soccer, I was happy because I thought this would fix problems. Clubs wouldn't spend ridiculous amounts of money on players and they would save money. Instead of having top teams dominate the leagues, all clubs would be equal, thus making it exciting.

I'm gonna say that yes, European clubs would benefit from salary caps. All for the reasons I said before. It'd create a more equal playing field for teams and they would have money left over for other things like stadium upgrades.

If you had a salary cap, I don't think that all these foreign owners would be buying clubs. We wouldn't have all the fiascos we have right now. Salary caps prevent teams from destroying themselves trying to get the best players in the world. Some of the world's best players were bought at relatively low prices. You don't need millions of dollars to build a great club.

Regarding MLS, I think that it still needs a salary cap. The clubs here are fairly new and don't have large amounts of money to spend. Give clubs like LA and New York an unlimited salary cap and you'd have a bankrupt team within a few years. A salary cap preserves teams and prevents them from destroying themselves.


Joe Guarr:

MLS still needs a salary cap at this point. The unbridled spending of the New York Cosmos was directly tied to the demise of the NASL, and that's still recent history. I'm glad MLS learned from that and decided to keep spending in check during its formative years. If MLS were to abolish the salary cap, LA, NY, and to a lesser extent Chicago would trump the spending power of the rest of the league easily. It would destroy parity and possibly the league itself.

A salary cap isn't a bad thing. Remember, it's relatively recently that European players have had huge transfer fees attached to them. Some of the most successful players of yesterday were relatively cheap by today's standards, even accounting for inflation.

I'll play devil's advocate right now and say something really controversial and say that European leagues might benefit from a salary cap.

How many teams in European top flights are operating at a deficit right now? Chelsea is the most obvious one. The money from Abramovich isn't a gift, it's an interest-free loan. Valencia are rumoured to have debts as much as 800 million Euros. Didn't anybody learn from Leeds?

I guarantee that a salary cap would help create parity in the European leagues. It would make for a greater amount of meaningful games each season. It would force managers to do more actual managing, rather than throwing out 11 high-priced internationals each week.

But I don't actually want to see a salary cap put in place overseas. I'd like to see teams be a little more responsible in their spending, but the reason many of us watch football is to see our favorite superstars play. When it comes down to it, I don't care how much money they're making, so long as the product on the field is top shelf.


Salaar Arshad Shamsi:

Yes, football is being globalized! There's a lot of money being invested into the game around the world and while this isn't all good for the game, I'm not totally supportive of imposing a salary cap.
I know most people feel there should be a salary cap to end the greed and "the money taking over the game" aspect of it, but I feel that if a club can afford a player charging a 100,000 pounds per week then lets get on with it. There needs to be an incentive for players to achieve a higher level, a player can't be contended during his playing days with his ability (there needs to be an urge to strive to become better) and if a golden ticket to earn as much as you can to pocket it is required then, why not?


So, the speakers have spoken. Now it's your turn to discuss this. Do you agree with Thomas who think that having a salary cap is okay? Are you like Joe? Or do you agree with Salaar who is against the salary cap all together. Think about it, and post your answer down below.