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Friday 19 September 2014

Top flight clubs agree spending controls

Published 18/12/2012 | 14:29

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The Premier League need approval from 14 of the 20 clubs for moves on spending controls to go through

The Premier League took a significant step towards spending controls after agreeing in principle to make breaking even a necessity for clubs.

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The move was agreed by the majority of the 20 chairmen despite some ongoing opposition from a minority of clubs at a meeting in London on Tuesday. However the exact details of the spending controls have yet to be agreed - specifically around how much wealthy owners can put into the club to cover losses, sources close to the process have disclosed.

The club chairmen have now asked Premier League executives to bring back detailed plans on the spending controls for the next meeting on February 6, and on proposals to cap wage rises for players in the short term. It is understood Manchester City, Fulham and Aston Villa remained opposed to any controls but only 14 of the 20 clubs are needed for the moves to go through.

Manchester United and Arsenal have been pushing for a pure break-even system similar to UEFA's financial fair play scheme for clubs in European competition.

A group of other clubs, including Wigan and Chelsea, are also in favour of a break even system but argue that wealthy benefactors should be permitted to put extra investment into clubs.

The sticking point to any agreement is how much investment should be allowed, but the majority of clubs are agreed that this should only be in the form of equity and not loans.

The issue of wage control for players has also received broad support from the chairmen but again the details has yet to be agreed.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short has led the campaigning on this issue, arguing that clubs should be limited to either an overall percentage salary increase for their squads, or a fixed figure.

Manchester City last week became the first club to announce that their annual wage bill has topped the £200million mark.

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