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Premier League clubs agree to spending controls

English Premier League clubs have voted in favour of introducing a domestic financial fair play model from next season.

The breakaway group of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham failed to push through a strict ‘break-even’ rule at a showdown meeting in London on Thursday but club bosses agreed to a compromise system that limits a club’s losses to 105 million pounds over a three-season period.

The top-flight clubs also approved a cap on wage increases as the Premier League imposed the first spending controls by a major European league.

It was agreed in principle that there will be a ceiling on how much of the funds distributed by the Premier League are spent on players’ wages each season from 2013/14 to 2015/16.

In the first of a three-season cycle, wage bills can rise by four million pounds, in the second year by eight million, and by 12 million in the third.

The cost control measures apply only to clubs with wage bills in excess of 52 million pounds in 2013/14, 56 million in 2014/15 and 60 million in 2015/16.

The Premier League revealed that clubs who breach the loss limits and wage increase controls face points deductions.

Moreover, the league will ask owners that wish to bankroll losses to show proof they can pay, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the situation at financially-crippled Portsmouth.

It is not yet known which clubs supported the new measures but 14 of the 20 votes were required to push through the reforms at the shareholders’ meeting.

The Premier League’s FFP system mirrors that of UEFA’s, which comes into force next season and limits owners to covering losses 38.9 million pounds losses over the first three years.

In a statement, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: “The clubs have voted in principle for new financial regulations that will further benefit the sustainable running of their businesses, while allowing secure owner investment, as well as enhance the reputation of the Premier League as an organisation that takes its responsibilities in the governance arena seriously.

“I would like to thank the clubs for the time, effort and thought that they have applied throughout this process and the attention they have applied to helping secure the continued success and health of Premier League football both on and off the pitch.”

The measures will come into effect from the start of next season if they are approved at a full Premier League board meeting in April.

Thu 7 February, 2013
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