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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Whelan cites salary cap support
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan
Whelan has experience of a salary cap in rugby league
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan believes top-flight clubs would support his idea of having a salary cap.

"I would like 20 players registered with a salary cap, a figure that each team agrees on," said Whelan.

"You might get Manchester United or Arsenal supporting it on the basis they can see Chelsea ruining this league.

Whelan has first-hand experience of the benefits of a salary cap in rugby league, where he runs Wigan Warriors. He added: "Soccer should take note."

This season in rugby league's Super League clubs have been restricted to an annual player budget of 1.7m.

Whelan added: "This is not something I've just brought up, it's something I've been advocating for five or six years.

"If this continues then the league is over in the next four or five weeks. Manchester United have debts and Arsenal are funding a new stadium - it's Chelsea on their own.

"Good luck to Chelsea, I've got nothing against them but the competition has gone.

"If Mr Abramovich chooses to stay there and they continue with building their squad, nobody in the league can compete with that."

"It makes sense to see a 25m or 30m limit on Premiership wages per club in order to guarantee healthy competition.

SPORTING SALARY CAPS
Rugby League
First introduced a decade ago, clubs were limited to 1.7m on players' salaries in 2005
Rugby union
Premiership clubs operate under a maximum annual wage bill of 2m
American football
No team in the NFL can spend more than 47m ($85m) on wages in 2005. If they do financial penalties are shared between other teams
Basketball
NBA franchises are limited to 25.5m ($46m) but rules are bent for long-serving players
Baseball
Teams with a high wage bill pay a "luxury tax" which is shared among the other teams
Ice Hockey
The 2004/5 season was called off due to disagreements over a cap but an agreement has now been reached
Australian Rules
Has been in place since the 1980s but is different for each team based on geography and the cost of living

"I know for a fact that the chairmen of Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland and Charlton Athletic - along with many more - support my views, so let's see it happen sooner rather than later."

A Premier League spokesman told The Independent: "We are open-minded on this issue but very sceptical that a workable system can be found or implemented."

Football already runs a voluntary salary cap in League One and League Two where clubs cannot spend more than 60% of their income on players' salaries.

"The philosophy behind this was 'Don't spend more than you earn," a Football League spokesman said.

"It's been incredibly successful so far. The clubs actually seem comfortable with the idea that they're being encouraged to be prudent."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Wigan chairman Dave Whelan



SEE ALSO
Wigan chief wants Eriksson sacked
15 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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