WANDERERS would be restricted to spending just £1.25million a year on their squad next season if salary capping plans are passed by EFL member clubs this summer.

EFL chairman Rick Parry said recently that some sort of spending reform was “essential” to avoid clubs going out of business completely as the sport recovered from the economic effects of coronavirus pandemic.

But plans have been met with stiff opposition from the PFA, who claim it is “unlawful” to put salary capping to a vote without first consulting the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee – an independent body established in 1978 to deal with pay-related issues.

Spending limits already exist in Leagues One and two, tied to revenue. And Wanderers would ordinarily be able to spend 55 per cent of their turnover.

The club know, however, that they will be saddled with a transfer embargo until the summer of 2021 as a result of going into administration last summer, and so salary capping could potentially work in their favour as it could reel in some of the wealthier clubs at this level.

The £1.25m figure is also under some debate, with Forest Green chairman Dale Vince appealing for a £2m ceiling at League Two level.

It would also mean that – if spent in its entirety – the wage bill at Wanderers would be at its lowest level since 1994, when it rested at just over £1.4m.

At its highest in the 2011 accounts, Bolton had an eye-watering £56m yearly wage bill, a figure which could now – theoretically - run the entire of League Two for 18 months.

The Bolton News:

The last available financial data from Wanderers accounts, filed in 2017, showed that Wanderers carried a £12.6million budget during their promotion season in League One – a wages to turnover ratio of around 65 per cent.

Bolton were the biggest spenders in the third tier that season and costs were not understood to have increased significantly in the following season in the Championship.

Little will be known about last season’s spending until Football Ventures submit accounts for their first 12 months in charge. It is widely expected, however, that player wages will be significantly reduced outside the Premier League for the foreseeable future.

The PFA claim that clubs cannot reduce salaries for existing playing staff until there has been some dialogue with the PFNCC.

A document sent out by the PFA says that salary caps would not just be limited to gross wages that clubs pay for players but also factors in the costs of tax, National Insurance, bonuses and agents’ fees.

“As a result this would likely involve a significant reduction in salary for many players and/or a reduction in squad sizes,” it added.

“The PFA has made it clear to the EFL that matters relating to the employment of players, which includes matters of pay, must be considered before the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee (the “PFNCC”).

“The PFA is a member of the PFNCC, so would have an opportunity to scrutinise any plans and represent the best interests of players.

“It would be unlawful for the EFL and its clubs to vote on this issue and change the EFL Regulations without first consulting the PFNCC, which is the appropriate forum for matters relating to player contracts.

“If your contract extends beyond this season, your terms and conditions of employment will remain the same. Your club cannot change your salary without your consent, as has been the case with furlough and deferral arrangements.

“A potential club might tell you that you have to accept a lower salary because the salary cap is being introduced from next season.

“However, until such time that a salary cap is agreed by the members of the PFNCC, you are not obliged to agree to a reduced salary in line with the proposed salary cap.

"We do however envisage clubs looking to pay less for player salaries post-COVID-19.”

It has also been proposed that clubs are limited to squad sizes of 20s, which must include eight home-grown or academy players.

Wanderers carry into next season 11 contracted players, of which eight came through the ranks at Lostock.