Salary caps, sack boards and share TV money: 10 readers’ ideas to fix football

The problem begins at the top. Fans need to have the biggest say in how their clubs and their game is run. Investors should be properly vetted by an independent authority. States, people with “unexplained” riches, and anyone with a history of financial mismanagement should be excluded from taking over a club – and owners should be unable to accumulate debt in the name of the club. Taşkın İsmet, 49, a Liverpool fan who lives in Barcelona

A wage cap is a must. As for transfer fees, maybe there should be a limit placed on the value of each matchday squad (similar to how it works in fantasy football). That way, Manchester City could still pay £150m for Erling Haaland, but they would have to make up the rest of the team with kids from the academy (Phil Foden included). Local players would have a better chance to progress, and clubs would be encouraged to keep their academy graduates and build up their value. As a punishment, the “big six” should have to play in the same blank, sponsorless shirts for the next five seasons. That way fans won’t be tricked into buying a new kit every year and the owners cannot make money from overinflated sponsorship deals. Matt O’Brien, 32, an organic vegetable farmer who supports Durham women’s team and Newcastle

As things stand, the clubs with the highest wage bills proceed unencumbered through the group stage of the Champions League. A competition where 16 del 32 spots are claimed by clubs from four countries has no right to call itself European. Now that these 12 clubs have been knocked back and humiliated, it is time to push for real reform to make European competition genuinely open. No more four spots for England. And if you’re not the champion, you don’t get a direct pass for the group stage. Qualifiers for you. We should also implement some form of salary cap or revenue sharing mechanism. Players don’t need to be paid £300,000 a week. And get rid of the ridiculous situation where the most successful clubs get prize money, allowing them to pull further away from the rest. Positive feedback mechanisms are not good for competition. Andy Scott, 30, a lecturer from Scotland who supports Kilmarnock

The financial problems at these big clubs have not been caused by the coronavirus pandemic but because of the ridiculous salaries they pay. That greed is killing the game. All salaries should be lowered, for players and coaches alike. The fact these big clubs pay their players so much money has created a vicious circle. In the Netherlands, Ajax have so much more money than any other clubs, so they will be champions for the next 10 years at least. There is no suspense anymore – just like with PSG in France and Juventus in Italy. We should create a level playing field. Miriam, 54, a musician from Amsterdam who supports Ajax

The six breakaway clubs should be deducted points and fined at the start of next season. I’d have the ownership groups of each club reduced to a 51% share with the idea that within five years they would be reduced further to 49% to give supporters’ trusts time to sort themselves out and begin a new fan-led ownership model. I would also insist that there is an FA member on each board – someone who can keep an eye on the directors. Finally, I’d take a portion of the six clubs’ TV money for this season and spread it among the clubs in the pyramid who are in danger of going bust. Ben Truchard, 21, a student in Cardiff who supports Spurs

Abolish transfer fees, introduce a salary cap and and impose a maximum squad size. This would provide an element of financial parity and lead to more competitive and less predictable league tables. If Manchester City could only spend as much on their squad as Sheffield United, we would see less stockpiling of players and a greater emphasis on strategic club management and coaching. The best players would be more evenly distributed from team to team and there would be greater capacity for young players to break through at the biggest clubs. Very few teams have won the Super Bowl twice in a row in the modern era, and every team goes into the season on an equal footing. Antony Harrison, 44, a software designer who supports Leeds

I’d ban the owners and the clubs. Let the fans create phoenix clubs (or in the case of Manchester United, let fans support FC United of Manchester). sì, there would be less money for some people for a while, but football would carry on. I’d make sure all clubs were owned by the fans. Not 50+1, ma 100%. It’s not enough to stop the closed-shop Super League, we need to stop these people from profiteering from clubs they do not care about – and in some cases have not even invested their own money in. The fact that these owners are complaining about debt levels that they created themselves shows how incompetent they are. Sack them, ban them, fine them and get them out of our game. Tom, 33, Manchester, supports Manchester United

Il Premier League has become an international league played on English soil. That needs to change. I would gradually introduce a 50+1 rule that is used in Germany. Boards should consist of a majority of members who are voted on to them by supporters’ trusts. If commercial interests want to get onboard to make money, fair enough, but football clubs should be run by their fans. It has become a cliche, but football clubs belong to their fans. Players, managers, owners, sponsors and even grounds come and go, but the fans are constant. I went to my first match at Plainmoor in the 1967-68 season with my dad and grandad. Bob Cole, 62, retired teacher, Paignton, supports Torquay United

TV money should be shared equally. Is the Sky payment of a Manchester City fan worth more than that of a Norwich City fan? All fans pay the same but the money is distributed differently. There should be a cap on how much sponsors can pay, a salary cap for players, a transfer cap, and a transfer window that is limited to the period at the end of the season. There should also be a reduction in the number of games, so players can rest. Wolfgang Michel, 60, a boat school instructor from Germany who supports Eintracht Frankfurt

Supporters’ associations and trusts must be put at the heart of every football institution: clubs, leagues and governing bodies. Until that happens, fans will continue to be treated as customers as that is the only legally recognisable status they have. Supporters’ trusts have been accumulating incredible levels of expertise over many years. It should be used. Danny Coposescu, a journalist from Leipzig who supports Celtic

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