Scrap the Cap - your ideas

The salary cap has done it’s job thus far keeping the teams relatively even but I think it’s time for it to be scaled back a little with an aim to scrap it completely in 10-15 years time.

I would scrap it altogether for overseas players and 1 marquee Australian player.

Since the number of foreign players is capped anyway it should ensure that we can pay market rates for good talent that we bring in from OS while ensuring we don’t inflate the cost of Australian players.

What say you?

I’ve said for a while that I think gradually adding more salary cap excempt players each year (i.e marquee) would be the best approach. I don’t think they necessarily need to be visa spots.

Slowly getting rid of the cap is important, if we’re going to try and seriously be consistently competitive in Asia then we need to invest more in the squads.

Nah, I like it. At least until we have a stable 14-16 and are looking at promotion and relegation, I think it continues to serve a purpose.

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CAP shouldn’t be scrapped completely until expansion is 100% finished, that way, new teams at least have some sort of a level playing field against the Melbourne and Sydney teams.

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It needs to stay in some form to keep the playing field somewhat level. There are already benefits for those clubs with better resources in their off field investment (facilities / non-playing staff) and those who nail their recruitment including existing foreign and marquee slots.

In line with expansion we need to ensure all existing clubs (except, maybe, Nix) are sustainable. Those already struggling like CCM last few years will only go further down if the “bigger” clubs have open slather. How many of the die hards enduring nearly a year without a win will continue to turn up to watch cannon fodder with no chance of ever winning a trophy? They also shouldn’t hold the rest of the competition back but there needs to be some mechanism by which they can still compete if they really want to (a few years back with Arnie at the helm they certainly did).

Imo it’s another example of where we need to shed the desire of being a “proper” football country and acknowledge the landscape we operate in. The dominant codes have stable franchises with no pro / rel and salary caps that ensure teams can be rewarded for good strategic planning in the medium term. I’d much rather a comp whereby Canterbury Bulldogs or Collingwood type clubs seem to be in the hunt every 5 years than a La Liga or EPL where only the big boys are ever going to win it. That scenario is far too repetitive and boring for our market, once again we should be looking at what is working well in the MLS before any longing glances towards Europe.


Difficult to see how a football league in this country could effectively operate without some type of cap. There are many reasons why all football comps in this country have caps. In OZ football terms the major apparent problem with scrapping the Cap would be the rise in boom bust trends, destabilising the National League and thereby the Leagues, clubs, players and all the rest around that.

If a time arrives where we have an entrenched League with 14-16 strong clubs and supporting infrastructure, then the Cap might prove to be a very exciting addition tot he landscape.

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Scrapping the cap should not be seriously considered. Goodness knows we already have enough of a disparity between the higher teams and the lower ones.

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The cap barely works now. The cap has grown but a few clubs have struggled to keep up. There’s also the issue of some clubs just being more attractive places to play football. Either make the cap tighter (lower the cap or get rid of all the out of cap spots), put in a soft cap so at least poorer teams get some money out of it or just get rid of it.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the cap. It’s having an owner/owners who want to invest in the club. And you can’t really control that.

You can have all the cap rules in place that you like, or you can scrap it completely, but if an owner/owners decide they don’t want to spend any money both sets of circumstances mean little to nothing. The team will not be competitive. End of.

True that, but the issue was hit on the head by garuna. Sydney and Melbourne will always be seen as more attractive and will always attract bigger owners and bigger investors, as well as bigger sponsorship deals. Brand names sponsoring SFC will always get bigger spread when compared to say CCM or Newcastle, purely due to the higher population. If anything, if people want fairness, payouts from FFA should be skewed more towards the teams that are struggling to to meet the cap in order to make the league more competitive and make it a lower risk to invest in those teams.

How about a Cap Tax?

If a club spends more than X then they have to pay something to the other clubs.

Like say you go over the cap by $1m then you’d need to pay the other clubs $20k each

Thats what they do in the MLS.

I have to admit I didn’t really look at the OP so I will offer my two cents.

We don’t have the money to seriously compete with Chinese or Middle Eastern clubs, so I’m not sure how scrapping the cap for foreigners is going to help much. I think for the money on offer, we can still get quality players as it is. I’m pretty sure the likes of Broich, Berisha, Ninkovic and Mierzejewski all came to the league under the cap. And as we’ve seen before, paying top dollar for players is no guarantee of silverware or even individual success.

If we want to find something worthy to spend money on, its got to be the youth pathways. I don’t think there’s any shame in setting the A-League up as a development league where quality youngsters can be sold on for decent money. We all know that Melbourne City is set up as a development club / FFP dodge by the CFG but at least they are clearly giving the best youngsters a potential pathway to Europe with appropriate resources to make it happen.

The softness of the cap since the most recent tranche of changes (second foreign marquee, loyalty and increased homegrown allowances and full time NYL outside the cap) has already pinned Sydney and Melbourne to the top and Mariners/WelPho etc. to the bottom, so I’d hate to see what happens if you remove it entirely. Without P&R, what exactly would those smaller clubs be playing for? How long would they remain viable?

I’m not advocating for the complete removal of the Cap straight away, I think it has to happen over time and it is in effect as others have pointed out.

With our population I reckon we’re probably going to end up with 4 super strong clubs, 4 reasonably well off clubs and the rest sort of fighting it out yo-yoing from being shit to utter shit.

This happens in nearly every league in the world, no sense in trying to restrain the clubs who have money from properly expanding and investing in the league if you ask me.

If the Mariners or Nix fold because their fans don’t support them then they shouldn’t be in the league, from the recent expansion process there seems like a lot of people interested in licences.

Guess it could go here:

O’Rourke discussing further softening of the cap and potential introduction of transfer fees.

Softening the cap is not going to help improve training facilities and coaching expertise, which is really where the investment needs to go. Really the incentive for clubs to develop more quality youth players should be transfer fees that can help to continue improving these kind of programs.


As someone whos been major pro-cap, the current system has so many exemptions its broke


Haven’t read the Daily Telegraph article, but here’s one from Fox Sports News. I imagine the content would be fairly similar.