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Rival Reds demand spending sanctions

MANCHESTER UNITED and Liverpool will both press the Premier League board to introduce financial controls on clubs' spending that would force every side to break even each year or face sanctions.

The Wigan Athletic chairman, Dave Whelan, yesterday said the measures, discussed at the league's meeting earlier in the summer, were badly needed, and suggested that Manchester City's level of accelerated spending -- which has taken them to a Premier League title -- had been the catalyst for Old Trafford pressing for the move.

"This proposal has come from Manchester United -- I think City have shaken them up a little bit -- but I think there should be some controls on spending," Whelan said.

"Some clubs are spending way more than they can afford and get into trouble -- look at Portsmouth. Something has to be done."

United's chief executive, David Gill, has been one of the driving forces behind European clubs accepting Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules for clubs in the Champions League and Europa League to only spend what they earn, and he wants the Premier League to follow suit.

But Liverpool are likely to press the case just as hard, with principal owner John W Henry of the view that the Premier League must act.

He believes that big-spending sides will contravene FFP rules -- by which aggregate losses must be limited to €45m (£35.6m) over three seasons from 2011-12 to avoid expulsion from European competition -- as the regime is eased in.

At least 12 of the 20 top-flight clubs ended the 2010-11 season in the red.