Micky Adams has told the Sentinel that Vale “haven’t got a massive squad” and he disputes the fact that the Vale development squad’s wages are included in the club’s submission in accordance with the Football League Fair Play rules .
The Football League’s Fair Play Rules (or to give it its proper name, the Salary Cost Management Protocol or SCMP) states that League One clubs can only spend 60% of the club’s turnover on players’ wages with the amount determined by regular budgetary forecasts that the club submits to the Football League.
Following the high attendance against Wolves, it is not inconceivable that the Vale could submit renewed budget figures but when Adams was asked by the Sentinel whether the club would be adding any new players, he replied: “Speak to Mr Smurthwaite, he seems to do a lot of the talking on that rather than myself.
“We haven’t got a massive squad. The chairman might say we have a £2.5m wage bill, but I’m not sure where he gets that from.
“He’s obviously including the development squad in that, which wasn’t part of the budget figures that we were supposed to submit.”
The comments from Adams may be taken out of context, but they do appear odd as Smurthwaite’s comments on adding new players to the squad have not been on what players to add (clearly Adams’ role) but rather simply to explain the fair play rules and encourage fans to part with their money so that Adams has a bigger budget and can add more players. It seems odd that Adams appears to be criticising a Chairman who is only trying to increase the manager’s own options in the transfer market.
However, Adams’ views on whether the development squad should be included in the SMCP’s 60% cut-off are correct. According to a Football League spokesman “if a player is not on a professional contract they are not included in any SCMP calculation. If they are on professional terms, they are still not included if they are under 21 years of age in League 1 and under 20 years of age in League 2.” Following Adams’ claim, there has been no confirmation of whether Vale do or do not include development squad players in their Fair Play calculations.
This article was edited 13:54 to clarify Fair Play rules after enquiries with the Football League.