Why did Aston Villa reject PL spending cap proposal?

According to The Times' Martyn Ziegler, Aston Villa were one of just three clubs to reject the PL spending cap proposal, with both Manchester City and Manchester United also rejecting the idea.

Chelsea reportedly abstained from the vote, with the other 16 clubs in the Premier League (including Sheffield United before they were relegated to the Championship) voted in favour of the proposal. The cap would restrict top teams' spending on transfers, wages, and agents, and traditionally, the ‘big six' have been far above the rest of the league in these metrics.

Therefore, it may be a surprise to see that Villa were one of the clubs to reject the proposal, as they are not part of the traditional ‘big six' teams. In this article, we explore why they may have rejected the spending cap, in comparison to most of the other non ‘big six' clubs voting in favour of it.

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Watkins may have to be sold by Villa to comply with PSR rules. ANP/Hollandse Hoogte/Maurice Van Steen – Photo by Icon Sport

Why did Aston Villa reject PL spending cap proposal?

PSR worries

Villa are just one of many clubs in the Premier League worried about breaking the league's Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), after both Everton and Nottingham Forest were given points deductions this season as punishment. The rules state that a club can only make a maximum loss of £105m over a three-year rolling period, which both clubs breached.

The Villans announced a £119.6m loss last season, more than the £105m maximum amount allowed, and currently have the seventh-highest wage bill in the league. The spending cap limits what clubs can spend on wages, which would hinder Villa in this regard. The likes of Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz are just a couple of big-name stars that have been linked with a move away from Villa Park in order to help comply with PSR rules, with Arsenal just one club that are reportedly interested in signing the duo.

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Villa are on the brink of secuting UCL qualification – Photo by Icon Sport

Champions League qualification

Villa are very close to securing UEFA Champions League (UCL) qualification for the club, and that will mean they will be able to attract some big names in the transfer market. However, a spending cap would limit how much they would be able to pay for players, and the best players usually cost the most money.

They would also be expecting a high wage that matches other top performers in the game, but the spending cap would limit Villa's wage bill. Theirs is already the seventh-highest in the league as mentioned above, so it would leave limited room in the transfer kitty.

Villa beat a lot of big clubs to the signing of Diaby last summer – Conor Molloy/News Images/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon Sport

Ambitious owners

Villa's owners are among the richest in the Premier League, and have previously showed ambition by spending big in the transfer market, notably signing Moussa Diaby for over £50m from Bayer Leverkusen in last summer's window, when a lot of the world's biggest clubs had reportedly shown an interest. Since being promoted back into the league in 2019, they have simply not looked back.

However, a spending cap would limit how much money Villa would be able to spend in the market, and make their ambitions of closing the financial gap to the Premier League's traditional ‘big six' much harder. Nonetheless, it is not entirely a surprise that they rejected the original proposal.


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Adam Clancy

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.