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Bury St Edmunds chairman discusses the impact of new National League salary cap




Bury St Edmunds chairman David Reid says a significant change in how much National League 2 teams can spend on players will force some adjustments to be made to their squad for the upcoming campaign.

But Reid, who Suffolk News revealed last week is set to relinquish his role at June’s AGM, said he does not think the one fifth reduction for the 2021/22 season will ‘overly affect us’.

Previously, clubs playing at Level 4 (National League 2) were permitted to part with up to £157,500 a season on player expenditure.

Bury chairman David Reid, who is standing down in June. Picture: Mark Westley
Bury chairman David Reid, who is standing down in June. Picture: Mark Westley

But that is being reduced to a ceiling of £125,000 following last month’s RFU Council vote – a 20.38 per cent reduction. Clubs who go over the threshold will have their RFU benefits withdrawn.

And if Bury are to stay on the right side of the line, Reid admits they will have to look to run with a tighter squad than originally planned.

“The reduction in salary cap is less than ideal especially considering all of our players contracts were rolled over from last season and we will obviously have to honour these contracts,” he said.

Former England international Tom Varndell has agreed to play for Bury in 2021/22. Picture: Samurai Sportswear
Former England international Tom Varndell has agreed to play for Bury in 2021/22. Picture: Samurai Sportswear

“What we will need to do though is reduce our squad slightly. But with several of our JA (junior academy) and EPDG (elite player development group) players coming into the Pro-am squad, we are confident it won’t overly affect us.

He added: “Ninety per cent of the squad has carried over from last season, which is great news.

“They (Pro-am management team) are still looking for other players but by the same token we will need to be mindful with the salary cap of the amount of players we would normally take on board, as it possibly won’t be as many as usual.”

Former England international Tom Varndell was signed up as a player/coach ahead of what would have been the 2020/21 campaign, but his place at the club is secured for next season as Pro-am skills coach and player.

With their eyes firmly set on promotion to National League 1 ahead of a third regional level being added at Level 4 for 2022/23, Bury have already announced four new signings in the last month.

New head coach Jacob Ford, brother of England player George, is due to get started with the squad for the first time when pre-season training gets going in July.

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