The English Football League salary cap for Leagues One and Two has been withdrawn following a decision by an independent arbitration panel.

The caps were voted through by third and fourth-tier clubs in August last year and were set at £2.5million per club in League One and £1.5million per club in League Two.

However, the Professional Footballers' Association immediately challenged the caps, saying they were "unlawful and unenforceable", and an independent panel has now forced the caps to be withdrawn.

What was the purpose of the cap?
The EFL saw it as a means to ensure the sustainability of its clubs amid the profound pressure placed on revenues by the coronavirus pandemic.

What did the panel say?
That the EFL was in breach of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee's (PFNCC) constitution in introducing the cap, by not giving the committee the opportunity to give the cap "proper consideration and consultation".

What is the PFNCC?
It is made up of representatives from the EFL, the PFA, the Premier League and the Football Association and it is considered to be the appropriate forum for any decision-making related to the regulations around the employment of professional players.

How have EFL bosses reacted?
The chairman of Forest Green, Dale Vince, an advocate of the cap, said he was "shocked" by the decision and suggested the EFL could leave the PFNCC and reimpose the cap.

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin described the cap as a "blunt instrument" and said the EFL and its clubs needed to come up with a "self-sustainability" approach which took into account the differing size of clubs.

What happens next?
In the long run, further negotiations. The PFA said on Tuesday that it "hopes to open constructive dialogue to agree reasonable and proportionate cost control measures for the future".

In the meantime, EFL clubs will need to revert to abiding by the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) which was in place for the 2019-20 season.

What are the rules around SCMP again?
It basically looks to keep player-related spending at a certain proportion compared to a club's turnover in Leagues One and Two. Failure to follow the protocol can lead to clubs being barred from registering new players.