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SBD Global/May 8, 2014/International Football

Russian Duma Prepares Legislation To Require Salary Cap In Premier League

Russia's Parliament is preparing a piece of legislation introducing a salary cap for the Russian Premier League. The initiative follows a similar proposal for the second-tier National Football League, first floated a few weeks ago. The State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's Parliament, plans to adopt the legislation before the end of its spring session, so that it could be applied at the start of the '14-15 season, which begins in August. Dmitry Svishchev, the first deputy head of the Duma's Committee on Sports & Youth, said on the air of the Russian TV network Mir 24 that consultations on the new law are currently in progress, but Premier League clubs are reluctant.

: Experts say that the idea of introducing a salary cap could have a positive impact on the finances of the Russian league, if handled properly. Professional Union of Footballers & Coaches President Vladimir Leonchenko told SBD Global, "The main issue is that players' salaries are currently guaranteed only by sponsor contracts or regional budgets, but not by the club's revenues. As a result, there is a risk that salaries won't be paid, and we've recently seen cases of that kind in the lower tiers of the Russian league." He continued, "As for a salary cap, it should apply to what a club can spend on all players' salaries rather than to individual players' salaries. A club needs to be able to differentiate players' salaries based on their performance. Just setting up a salary cap as they proposed in the National Football League, isn't going to work. In any case, the constant increases of the clubs' budgets need to be restricted."
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.
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