independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Madejski raises doubt over wage controls

John Madejski is unconvinced spending controls will be enforceable

Reading chairman John Madejski has claimed wage controls will be difficult to enforce in the Premier League ahead of a key vote on spending restraints in England's top flight on Thursday.

The 20 club chairmen agreed by the narrowest majority to bring in two significant controls - to limit players' wage bills from next season, and longer-term measures that will restrict the amount of losses clubs can make to £105million over three years.

The detailed rules will be presented to the chairmen where there is likely to be pressure to change the proposals of wage controls. These state clubs whose total wage bill is more than £52million will only be allowed to increase their wages by £4million per season for the next three years, though that cap does not cover extra money coming in from increases in commercial or matchday income.

Reading abstained in February's vote allowing it to be passed by 13 votes to six, and Madejski made it clear wage controls were the issue that concerned his club.

He said: "I don't think it would work. It is a very complex situation. It would be very difficult to make it stick. It is difficult to enforce. There always seems to be a way of overcoming it.

"I am reasonably ambivalent and I feel clubs should be allowed to do what they want.

"When you start handcuffing anything it leads to division.

"I don't know what the latest edict in terms of what we are voting for. We will decide then. We are not intransigent about anything. We will talk it over, then we will decide."

The affect of the financial controls should prevent hugely wealthy owners achieving the almost-overnight success of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Any club breaching the rules will face tough sanctions - and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has said they would be pushing for points deductions.

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