Gary Johnson: We have a structure that stops money dividing our United dressing room

Torbay Weekly

The amounts of money at stake are obviously different, but I have seen people comparing the leap between the National League and the EFL and from the Championship to the Premier League.

There's obviously the financial impact for the clubs involved.

They reckon the Championship play-off final can be worth £170million for the winners, but you can imagine the impact for us at Torquay United if we'd won the NL play-off this summer.

I believe it would have brought in more than £1 million a year in new revenue and 'share payments'.

But there's also how tough it is to get out of the National League - only one automatic and one other promotion place, much less than all the other divisions.

So we probably shouldn't be surprised at the money which a few of our rivals have been throwing at trying to win promotion - in most cases 'back' to the EFL.

The sums, not just in wages but also in transfer fees, are probably above what League Two clubs have been spending.

And when Paul Mullin, who'd just had a brilliant season to help Cambridge United to promotion to League One, turned down a new contract there to join Wrexham, he'd obviously found a good reason to drop down two divisions.

There are three factors behind it all. Two have been with us for ever, and one is new.

First, clubs with bigger gates have always been able to afford bigger wages.

Wrexham and Stockport County have already pulled in crowds around 8,000 this season. Enough said.

Second, new owners often bring new money with them, and Wrexham, Stockport, Notts County and a couple of others have 'changed hands' over the last year or so.

But third, and here's the new one, the National League is introducing 'Salary Cap' limitations next season which will level the playing field a fair bit.

I don't think anybody really knows the details of the new rules yet, and we're all waiting for them with interest!

But there seems to be a feeling that, if you can throw big money at the job, this is the year to do it.

You do wonder whether some of those clubs, if they don't go up this season, will be able to have another year with the investment which we're seeing now.

And you only have to look at the recent problems at Derby County to see how easy it is, even with the Financial Fair Play rules, for a club to end up in trouble.

I'm sure many people wonder what it might be like to play and manage with the money in the Premier League these days.

Just once in my career I was nearly there, when Bristol City played Hull City in the Championship play-off final in 2008.

I do remember the sort of contracts which me and my players would have been on if we had gone up, and the 'noughts' on the end of some of the figures were unbelievable.

What I will say is that all of my clubs over the years have tried hard to give as much money for the team as they could, and that's still the case at Plainmoor.

The problem with having a lot more money available is that one or two players can end up on a fair bit more than the others, and that divides the dressing room.

Some senior players at Torquay United are obviously on more than the younger ones.

We do give 'appearance money', for starts not subs. But I don't give extra for goal scorers or to the goalkeepers for 'clean sheets', which I've known some keepers ask for.

When several people have worked hard to create a goal or somebody has picked up a cut eye to stop one, they're not going to be happy if the scorer or the goalie gets a bonus and they don't.

We do have a structure at Plainmoor which we explain to everyone, so they understand the rules, and it works.

A divided dressing room is usually a losing dressing room. Ours is 'united'.