Irish FA reveals Premiership salary cap regulations

Glentoran vice-chairman Aubry Ralph has spoken of his optimism that the IFA's new salary cap will help local clubs finally find a sound financial footing.

The new regulations come into effect on 9 June and they have already led to clubs trimming their wage bills.

Put simply, clubs which do not owe to the tax authorities or creditors, will be restricted to spending 60% of their incomes on wages.

That will be reduced to 45 per cent for clubs which have significant debts.

The Glentoran official described the Tuesday's unveiling of the salary cost protocols as an "historic day for Irish League football".

"It's something that the clubs themselves wanted to see happen," added Ralph.

"The IFA thankfully accommodated us so it's a big step forward for everyone. Hopefully, it will stabilise things as we would want them to be.

"We're in the middle of a recession now and obviously clubs, ourselves included, have been paying too much money in wages.

"We have got to get a sensible handle on where we want to go from here."

Ralph added that clubs had no alternative but to "live within their means from now on".

"What state you are with the statutory bodies will dictate how much money you are allowed to pay in wages, thus leaving other monies to pay other creditors," added Ralph.

"From my own club's perspective, we will be on a budget that is vastly reduced from previous seasons.

"We had 16 players out of contract and those players we have signed (again) have all done so for less money and in some cases, considerably less money."

The protocol regulations were confirmed last year following consultations with the IFA Premiership management committee, external financial experts, and other stakeholders.

Clubs that fail to stay within the new salary cost protocols will be prohibited from buying new players.

Despite Tuesday's fanfare, the Irish FA admitted that a number of Premiership clubs "continue to incur trading losses or have significant creditors with no readily identifiable repayment plan".

The IFA added:"A number of key creditors have taken a more aggressive position in relation to clubs repayming these debts.

"The IFA have had to make cash advances to a number of IFAP clubs in order to meet short-term debuts...this had the effect of reducing confirmed income in the near future and clubs must plan and manage cash-flow accordingly."