EFL players face an end to hotel stays for long-distance midweek away games and far fewer medical scans in a new low-budget salary cap future.
Chief executives are resigned to vastly reduced sponsorship and hospitality revenues when football emerges into a deep recession, and with a salary cap under consideration, there is an increasing acceptance that week-to-week working life will never be the same.
Several sources have told Sportsmail they expect clubs to operate on an all-in budget of £1.5million, including player salaries, with £500-a-time scans on muscular injuries and £30,000-a-year travel budgets among areas considered ripe for cuts.
EFL players are set to face far fewer medical scans in a new low-budget salary cap future
The £500 scans on muscle injuries as well as travel budgets are areas considered ripe for cuts
Former Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale, who took the club from the Conference to an eighth-place finish in League One on a £1m budget, said success on less money is possible if managers have the right relationships with players.
Tisdale, whose club were owned by a Supporters Trust limited to £100,000-a-year investment, was so dependent on making the books balance that his goalkeeping coach Mel Gwinnett spent 90 per cent of his time as a ‘logistics’ manager, working out where spending could be cut.
The pressure on the player performance budget, which included travel, was so intense that Tisdale insisted that the squad even travelled to their 2017 League Two play-off semi-final at Carlisle United — 350 miles away — on the day of the game. They drew 3-3 and reached the final.
Former Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale said success on less money will still be possible
‘We flew to Manchester and took a coach from there,’ he said. ‘We simply decided that the two or three per cent gain achieved by a hotel stay was stripped away by the financial gain because every penny saved went into my budget for buying players.’
The limited kit and laundry budget meant kit staff spent two days steaming stickers off and replacing them with new ones needed for new sponsors and play-off finals. ‘The waste of money at some clubs on kit is extra- ordinary,’ said Tisdale, who joined MK Dons in 2018 and parted company last November.
‘Some clubs pay for brand new balls for training. We transferred ours into training sessions and then down to the academy. It mattered because our transfer market budget was always contingent on windfalls from selling players.
‘At the end of 2014, we slipped to a budget of £750,000. We reduced our squad to 16 and finished in the top half of League Two.’
But the former MK Dons boss insisted managers must have the right relationship with players