independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Clubs agree to tighter spending controls

Not all Premier League clubs voted for the proposals with some expressing concern

Premier League clubs have voted overwhelmingly for spending controls including financial fair play and restrictions on salary increases, West Ham's co-owner David Gold has confirmed.

Full details of the agreement will be announced by the Premier League later on Thursday afternoon but Gold said that the proposals for controls had received the backing of the majority of top-flight chairmen.

He said: "We have all voted and it was overwhelmingly supported, not by all the clubs - some are a little concerned - but the vast majority of the clubs voted in favour."

It will be the first top-flight European league to bring in such a system, but it is expected to be less hard-hitting than UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) scheme, which comes into force next season, in that it will allow club owners to cover significant losses. Clubs will also be restricted by how much they will be allowed to increase their wage bills.

Gold added: "It's not a salary cap, it's a restraint on over-spending. It's not a cap - it's a restraint. If clubs increase their revenues then they can increase their spending. We have got restraint, that's the important thing.

"What's driving the whole thing is we've got to avoid another Portsmouth."

Under FFP, clubs are limited to spending what they earn but with some flexibility to allow owners to cover losses by injecting more cash into the club, although not in the form of loans.

At the meeting, the chairmen were presented with a proposal for owners to be allowed to cover losses up to £105million over a three-year period.

That is significantly more flexible than UEFA's which only allows losses of 45million euro (£39million) over three years to be covered by owners.

The Premier League's announcement of the exact details will confirm exactly what room for manoeuvre the clubs will have.

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