(Reuters) - The English Football Association (FA) must look for ways to cap salaries at youth level to prevent a loss of motivation for players who are paid too highly too early in their careers, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has said.
Premier League clubs have seen a surge in wages in recent seasons on the back of increased revenue generated from lucrative broadcasting deals, with players at all levels of development keen to earn more as a result.
“The curse of too much money is upon all of us. I might have the 20th biggest wage bill in the world. Do I have the 20th best side? I very much doubt it,” Parish told the Times.
Several top-flight clubs are already looking to combat inflated wages at academy level, with Liverpool capping basic salaries at 40,000 pounds ($51,452) per year for their 17-year-old first-season professionals.
Parish believes the financial clout of English football is harming youth development, with one Palace academy graduate demanding 10,000 pounds per week after being invited to train with the senior squad.
”He has not even played in the Championship. He shouldn’t have more money just because he’s in a Premier League academy. That’s nonsense. What has he proved?
”Can we have a rookie contract like they do in America? But how about category one salary is this at a certain age, category two salary is that, you play in the first team you get this.
“A young person needs to be constantly striving. Since EPPP (the elite player performance plan), the average wage was 256,000 pounds-a-year for 17-year-olds.”
Parish is also in search of his ninth full-time Palace manager in eight years after Sam Allardyce resigned earlier this week.
”It would be nice to go a season without having to (find a new manager), he added. “(But) Sam has not left me in the lurch, he’s given me lots of time to find a replacement.”
British media reported that Parish was keen on hiring Marco Silva, who resigned at Hull City on Thursday following their relegation from the top division.
($1 = 0.7774 pounds)
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien