The Hypocrisy of the Morally Outraged

We’re not far into the off season and, to be honest, there has been very little to report thus far. This has given the forums more chance to debate rather than talk about the next great signing or who is signing elsewhere.

One of the biggest debates this off season has been the wage cap and the supposed enforcement or non-enforcement of it. We keep hearing rumours that the wage cap will be strictly enforced this coming season and that teams will be able to have a ‘luxury’ player outside of the cap. However only one team owner so far has come out and said his teams will be strictly adhering to the wage cap, Cardiff Devils and Sheffield Steelers owner Paul Ragan.

After an initial backlash from the Steelers fans they seem to be coming round to the idea, especially as they now staunchly expect every other team to stick to the ‘cap’ now they are. That’s right, The Sheffield Steelers, the same Sheffield Steelers that have overspent for years in the pursuit of glory, the same Sheffield Steelers who stuck two fingers up at the rest while they did it, the same Sheffield Steelers that showed no interest in any wage-cap (bar a couple of exceptions) while they were smashing it. The blinding hypocrisy is quite simply mind blowing, especially as many of their fanbase now appear to be morally outraged that anyone would now consider spending above the cap! It would seem that because they finally have to play by the ‘rules’, everyone else has to.  However, Ragan does have to be applauded for finally trying to run them as a legitimate business.

The thing is there hasn’t been a peep from the league as to what the wage cap actually is and if there is even a wage cap at all. Remember back to November when Elite League chief Andy French said that the wage cap was just a gentleman’s agreement and the it wasn’t enforceable? If there is to be a supposed wage restriction this season then what has changed? We have a right to know as paying supporters. It seems to me that Ragan has enforced a wage limit on his teams and is trying to bully the rest of the league into playing ball.

I don’t want people to think I’m against some sort of wage rules though, we all know that several teams have gone to the wall or struggled, no more so than the Panthers before Neil Black took over as owner. However I feel that a strict per week or per year salary limit is unworkable and unfair. Teams have to be able to spend what they can afford. In effect why should Panthers as a club and business have to spend less in order to pander to the weakest club? Panthers have a great business model and spend well within what they can afford, it seems like we are being punished for the failings of others. If there is to be a wage cap then why not set a minimum and maximum level? Surely that would be more workable than a set limit?

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