Sunderland's salary cap ally discuss legal action as ex-Newcastle United striker targets top flight move

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Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin says the prospect of legal action against the EFL cannot be ruled-out after League One’s controversial salary cap vote.

Third tier clubs voted to introduce a £2.5million limit on salaries, agent fees and other player-related expenditure earlier this month – despite opposition from a number of clubs, including Sunderland and Pompey.

And answering questions from Portsmouth supporters on the club’s official website, Catlin admitted that legal action is not off the table just yet.

"It’s tough,” he said.

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Portsmouth could yet pursue legal action over the salary cap decision, according to chief executive Mark CatlinPortsmouth could yet pursue legal action over the salary cap decision, according to chief executive Mark Catlin
Portsmouth could yet pursue legal action over the salary cap decision, according to chief executive Mark Catlin

"We are part of the EFL and while I don’t agree with the current situation, it was voted on and we have to accept and respect democratic decisions, with one caveat – that they are legal.

“Governing bodies can, of course, vote and agree on various rules and regulations, but in regards of equality, competitiveness and restriction of trade, no decisions can legally override statute or company law. The PFA believe that the new rules in their current state to be ‘unlawful’, while the professional advice I have received strongly supports this view.

“Our strategy at the moment is to work towards some adjustments that protect our players as employees and allow clubs to spend what they can operationally afford. Both of these are, in our opinion, no-brainers and keep us legal.

“I understand that the PFA are not too far away from our views on this in terms of reaching a compromise, rather than embarking on costly legal action, and are shortly due to go to arbitration with the EFL.

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“We hope that an agreement can be reached between the PFA and EFL, but if it can’t, then we will have to take a view on whether the new rules force us to break the law.

“If we are convinced this is the case, then naturally we have an obligation to both the business and our employees to not allow ourselves to be put into that position. We will continue to discuss with all relevant parties, while also considering our options moving forward.”

Meanwhile, former Newcastle United striker Ivan Toney is targeting a return to the Premier League.

The frontman is set to leave Peterborough United this summer, and has his eyes set on a switch to the top flight.

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"I'm at a Peterborough player at the moment and I’m just doing my thing, playing football and enjoying it,” he told Sky Sports.

"I want to play at the highest possible level – the Premier League.

"You’ve got to be confident otherwise there’s no point setting out trying to play at the top level.

“I’m sure my ability will get me there and whether it’s now or next season or whenever, I’m sure I’ll be able to look after myself in the Premier League and do a really good job.”

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Elsewhere, Doncaster Rovers have scrapped their under-23 side for the 2020/21 campaign.

Explaining the decision, chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “Some of that is a financial decision because it means they will not be travelling to games so we’ll save money on that and kit etc.

“But the money spent on the players themselves should be exactly the same.”

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