If you don’t like it after suggesting it, let’s get rid of it?… KBO ‘Salary Cap’ dilemma

There is a newly coined term, “Nukal Hyup.” This three-letter word, which means, “Who is threatening with a knife?” clearly shows the current state of Korean society, where meritocracy, individual sacrifice, and hatred of the weak have become the “spirit of the times.” When someone complains online that he or she has been subjected to unfair work or school work, he or she might ask, “Who is the Nukal Hyup?” Despite complaints that it is difficult to get a job on his or her own, he or she laughs at someone saying, “Who threatened you to get a job on your own?” In front of this expression, which is used as an all-around cheat key to appeal and complain, every problem in the world is the responsibility of an individual, not the state or society.헤라카지노주소

There are rare cases where the term “Nukal Cooperative” is more accurate. This is the case with some clubs’ complaints about the salary cap in the KBO League. Some clubs, led by several Seoul teams and one in the Seoul metropolitan area, constantly complain that it is difficult to operate the club because of the salary cap. There are many rumors that the salary cap is not enough to recruit an external FA, and that it is difficult to negotiate with an internal FA, let alone an external FA.

Unfortunately, we have no choice but to bring up the term “Nukal Association.” This is because no one has threatened the clubs with their bat to create a salary cap system. Salary cap is a system proposed by the clubs and developed by the teams through an agreement. The system was born with the aim of curbing the soaring price bubble of players. Of course, the general assessment in the baseball community is that there was also an intention to appeal to the parent company, saying, “We are trying to tighten our belts.”

Prior to the salary cap system, there was a cap on FA players. In September 2018, the KBO executive committee (10-team general managers’ meeting) proposed a cap on FA players to the Professional Baseball Players Association, which limits the compensation of FA players to 8 billion won for up to four years. Instead, the association also proposed a carrot that would shorten the time it takes to acquire a free agent by one year from the previous nine years. At that time, critics said that the cap system was abnormal and the concerns were raised that various expedient contracts would distort the market. In response, the association counter-proposed to reduce the ransom bubble by creating another measure instead of the FA cap, and the answer that the teams that received the cap was the salary cap again.

“Introducing without considering the market situation”

The KBO board of directors, held in November 2019, announced that it would push for salary caps collectively “as soon as possible” along with shortening the acquisition period for FA. After discussion, it was confirmed that salary caps would be introduced from 2023 and in November 2022, the total amount of salary caps and penalty provisions were disclosed. KBO set the salary cap, which will be applied for three years from 2023 to 2025, at KRW 11.426.38 billion, which is 120%, from the average of the top 40 annual salaries of 10 clubs in 2021 and 2022. If you sign a contract in excess of salary cap, you will receive 50% of the excess if you exceed it once, and if you exceed it for two consecutive times, you will receive a penalty of 100% of the excess and a penalty that will drop nine places in the first round of the following year. If you exceed it for three consecutive times, you will be fined 150% of the excess and your right to select the first round the following year.

Even when the announcement was made, the baseball community criticized that the amount of salary cap and penalty provisions were unrealistic. “It makes no sense to maintain the ceiling for three years,” a team leader said. “It does not make sense to leave the salary cap as it is for three years without considering inflation rate or changes in market conditions. In addition, how will the salary cap be paid to players who signed FA contracts before the implementation of salary cap? How will options be reflected in player contracts? We introduced the system recklessly without considering such details at all,” he criticized.

Interestingly, there have been complaints among clubs even before the salary cap system was implemented in earnest. In particular, after the upper limit of KRW 11.42638 billion was set, some clubs staged an outdoor public opinion campaign, saying, “There is a problem with the salary cap system.” At the time, club officials criticized the salary cap system, saying, “Shouldn’t we let the team to invest in?” and “The current system should not help the league develop because it is not to spend money together?” This was said by clubs close to the salary cap standard, mainly in the top of the team’s annual salary.

Complaints grew louder as the team entered winter last year. The salary cap, which had already been saturated, is about to burst, and some teams have begun to raise public opinion on the abolition of the salary cap. “Honestly, the first violation of the salary cap does not affect the management of the team,” a source from the team said. “However, we are concerned that the violation of the salary cap will cause news and the parent company will not consider it a good thing if additional expenditure is incurred.”

The salary cap issue was also under fire at the executive committee meeting held in mid-December last year. It has been confirmed that three of the heads of the nine clubs (SSG did not participate because of vacancies in the team leaders) that attended the meeting made remarks on salary cap. “One of the leaders proactively insisted that the system needs to be abolished or revised, while the other two expressed opinions from a slightly different angle,” a baseball source familiar with the situation said at the time. Although the committee failed to reach a sharp conclusion on the day due to time constraints, chances are high that the salary cap issue will be put to a vote as an official agenda at the executive committee meeting in January. According to the report, five clubs support abolition or revision, while three clubs insist on maintaining the principle for three years. The other two clubs are neutral stance.

“Salcap” that talks about abolition in a year

Clubs that have been managing their salary in line with the ceiling of salary caps for the past two years strongly oppose some clubs’ claims to abolish them. “The clubs that took the lead in introducing salary caps change their attitude and now want to eliminate them,” an A team source said. “If there is a problem with the system, we can consider revising it. However, it is problematic that those who proposed to create the system ask to eliminate the system when it becomes unfavorable to them.”

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