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Salary Cap, Squad Limits to Be Introduced in Hungarian Football

Ábrahám Vass 2020.02.04.

From next season on, the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) will introduce new regulations that maximizes the number of players in the senior squad and the amount of money clubs can spend on salaries. This comes on the heels of growing skyrocketing salaries in the Football Championships and even lower divisions.

The new measures were announced at the annual general meeting of MLSZ. First, the Federation decided to maximize the number of players ’employed’ in the senior squad of 25. By this, they want to avoid that clubs formally employ countless footballers without actually fielding them, MLSZ president Sándor Csányi argues. And this limit could only be increased with players under 19.

In addition, MLSZ will also introduce an aggregated salary cap for each team, meaning that they could spend only a certain amount on wages. Within that, however, the distribution would be up to the club management.

Csányi argues that it’s unacceptable that the proportion of young players in the senior squads has decreased over the recent year despite efforts to reverse this.

Meanwhile, it is no secret that clubs are on the receiving end of several kinds of generous support from the state, state companies, and government-friendly businessmen.

In case of a breach, Csányi promised, teams will be sanctioned in accordance with UEFA’s financial fair play system’s international practice.

This comes on the heels of recent news of the wages Hungarian clubs offer players. According to UEFA’s recently published report about the 2018/2019 season, Hungarian clubs spent on average, EUR 5.3 million on wages and this makes the Hungary the 21st “best payer” in Europe. Based on this number, certain outlets made calculations on the average salary of each player, which resulted in the average salary of division 1 footballers to be around HUF 3.3 million (EUR 9813). MLSZ, however, soon afterwards came out and denied this number, claiming that the average footballer salary in NB1 was in fact HUF 1.63 million (EUR 4847).

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Anyhow, according to this data, it is (still) extremely worthwhile to play in NB1. While the Hungarian first league is 21st in the European salary ranking, the quality can’t even come close to this level, as it is ranked only 33rd.

featured image: illustration- Feremcváros players after failing to qualify in the next round of Europa League; via MTI/Kovács Tamás