THE gap between League One and the Championship will become so great any side promoted will be “sitting ducks” if plans to introduce a salary cap are voted in next month.

That’s the view of Oxford United boss Karl Robinson on the measures which if approved would limit his spending to £2.5million on wages each season, while the second tier would be held to £18m.

Talk of the cap has gained ground recently with clubs hit hard financially during the coronavirus pandemic at the end of a campaign in which Bury were expelled from the English Football League (EFL).

Robinson believes there are some elements of the plan which have merit, but pointed to the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) rules already in place for League One sides.

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They limit spending on wages to 60 per cent of turnover, meaning bigger clubs can have larger budgets – whereas the new proposals are one size fits all.

The U’s head coach said: “We already have SCMP. That should be adhered to and respected.

“If owners want to spend money they should be allowed to, as long as the club is safe.

“We’ve all got to have hopes and dreams that you could do a Bournemouth one day of getting to the Championship and further, but this might stall it.

“How can anyone think £18m to £2.5m is fair? Let’s all get promoted and be sitting ducks and come back down.

“I’m telling you now, Premier League 2 is round the corner.”

United’s wage bill from this season was just over £3m, mid-table for League One.

They will have some wriggle room despite being above the mark, though, as the wages only count for players aged over 21.

The plan would also limit squad sizes – to 22 players aged over 21 in the first season and then cut to 20 after that.

There are concerns it would seriously affect the value of any players once they turn 21.

U’s managing director Niall McWilliams said: “If you’re a player over 21 it’s very difficult to forge a career in the game.

“If we put a restriction on our wage cap that in the short term may restrict the ambition of the club, which might be an opportunity lost for this county and this club.”

He added: “I think when you’re in a time of crisis, to make any what I would call rapid decisions without an extended period of reflection and without managing change properly is not the correct way to deal with things.”

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A vote was scheduled for July 29, but the meeting has now been put back until August 6.

It puts an emphasis on doing transfer business early, as it is likely the wages of any deals completed before the vote would not count fully.

U’s chairman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth is not against the principle, but feels the £2.5m figure is too low and will vote against it as things stand.

He said: “I’m not a fan, because I think it’s too far below the salary cap for the Championship.

“If we got promotion to that level then suddenly your budget has to go from £2.5m to four or five times more.”