Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe has revealed that the Pilgrims opposed the introduction of a salary cap in League One for 2020-21, writes Gareth Davies.
However, Lowe, who led the Pilgrims to promotion back into the third tier at the first attempt during 2019-20, also said that he will stick to a pre-determined budget set by the Home Park top brass – led by chairman Simon Hallett.
After new rules were voted in by clubs last week, those participating in League One and Two will not be permitted to spend over a certain amount on player salaries – £2.5 and £1.5 million respectively.
These new measures, which follow those that both rugby union and rugby league’s top-flights have in place currently, are ‘aimed at addressing club financial sustainability’ say the English Football League (EFL).
Speaking to The Indy at his weekly press call on Thursday morning, Lowe was asked for his thoughts on the introduction of a cap and the possible impact it will have on Argyle.
“To be honest with you, it will be my first season with the salary cap,” he mused. “I’ve only been manager for two seasons and we have stuck to the playing budget that we have been given – we did that last year and we will do that again.
“I don’t think the football club really wanted it [the salary cap] because we want our chairman Simon Hallett to back us as much as he possibly can. If we have 18,000 fans here at Home Park and we generate £500,000 leaving £200,000 in the pot, knowing Simon and the board of directors, they would like us to spend it in some way if we needed it.
“So that might affect us in some way although we still do have some leeway in the salary cap because certain wages only tally up [to the overall total] if they were already here at the football club. I think we’re still OK but again, we don’t know if that’s there to spend but we will just stick to the budget that we have been given. We will work our socks off to make sure it is competitive.”
Meanwhile, Argyle also revealed on Wednesday that they will be travelling to Scotland this coming week for a pre-season training camp with a friendly pencilled in against unconfirmed opponents.
Because of their trip north of the border, Argyle’s current schedule will see the side play just four friendly matches before next season finally gets underway. After last Saturday’s 2-1 win over fellow Devon outfit Plymouth Parkway, Lowe’s troops aren’t in action again on home soil until August 25 when they host Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough. Their final pre-season match is on August 29 as West Country side Forest Green Rovers travel south.
Despite the Greens’ pre-season schedule looking wafer thin in comparison to recent seasons, Lowe is satisfied with how many games his team will play. He also confirmed what Indy sources had indicated earlier in the week that the EFL plan to play the opening Carabao Cup and Leasing.com Trophy matches before the League One campaign begins on September 12 – subject to Government guidelines.
“We have still got good games pencilled in and although we’re not totally sure, on September 5 there will be a Carabao Cup game and on September 7 a Leasing.com Cup game,” added the 41-year-old.
“Then, on September 12, it will be the start of the season so we’re not too concerned because that will be enough games and we can hopefully squeeze another one in too.
“If that’s the case then we have to make sure we’re ready for that and yes, we would have liked to have played more games but in the long run, we will probably play more than we should so [the current schedule] will be more than enough for us.”