Revealed: The salary cap loophole that could majorly boost Sunderland's chances of signing Bailey Wright

Sunderland’s chances of signing Bailey Wright have been dealt a significant boost – thanks to a loophole in the EFL’s new salary cap proposals.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 6:13 pm

League One clubs are gearing-up for fresh financial measures as of next season, with a £2.5million wage cap set to be introduced. In addition to this, teams will also be subject to a squad cap of 22 players.

A vote is expected to take place on August 6 to decide whether the new measures will be introduced, and they are expected to gain the backing of the two thirds of clubs necessary for their implementation.

The salary cap has been strongly opposed by a host of clubs – including Sunderland and Portsmouth – who are able to spend well above this ceiling while still remaining sustainable.

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Sunderland's hopes of landing Bailey Wright could be boosted by this salary cap loophole

And the introduction of the cap led to fears that the Black Cats may miss out on some of their top targets this summer, such as Australian international Bailey Wright.

But a loophole in the system could well work in Sunderland’s favour when it comes to attracting signings.

As a transitional measure, players already on the books of League One clubs would count at a maximum of £1,300 per week towards the salary cap – the divisional average wage.

It was initially suggested that any player who signed a contract before June 30 would be the subject to this wage reduction, but this window has now been extended until August 6.

That means that should Sunderland clinch a deal for Wright – or indeed any other player – before August 6, their full salary will not count towards the wage cap until the 2021/22 season.

It represents a significant boost for Sunderland and will offer Phil Parkinson some extra room to manoeuvre in the transfer market this summer.

But not all clubs are happy with what they perceive as a flaw in the system.

Ryan Sparks, a director at League Two Bradford City, said: “It has created a loophole which clearly undermines the whole purpose of the salary cap, in my opinion.

“It appears the EFL are making up the process as they go along and that’s forcing clubs to react to an ever-changing picture.”

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