The Sport Matrix: Friday 8 February 2013


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The Independent Online

Premier League clubs vote to curb players' wages

Premier League clubs last night narrowly voted to restrict the amount of income from the huge new television deal they can spend on players' wages, with a possible points deduction awaiting any that breach the limit.

The move, which only secured the required majority after League newcomers Reading abstained, is the first step towards the Premier League's own version of financial fair play and will come into effect from next season.

The effect of the measures should be to prevent wealthy new owners being able to turn a club into title contenders in the space of a couple of seasons, as Roman Abramovich, above, did at Chelsea.

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, said: "A new owner can still invest a decent amount of money to improve their club but they are not going to be throwing hundreds of millions in a very short period of time."

Chelsea are believed to have voted in favour of the restrictions last night. West Bromwich Albion, Fulham, Swansea City and Aston Villa, however, are understood to have opposed it. page 60Injured Warburton risks Lions place

The Wales captain, Sam Warburton, will miss tomorrow's Six Nations game against France with a shoulder injury. Justin Tipuric will start instead and could even take Warburton's place in the Lions squad for the tour to Australia. MORE

Chaotic Kiwis set to face England

New Zealand face England in tomorrow's opening Twenty20 match in a state of chaos. Ross Taylor, who has been absent after losing the captaincy, has returned declaring his relationship with new coach Mike Hesson is a "work in progress". MORE

Haskell 'eager' for England success

James Haskell says he "looked down the barrel of not playing for England again" when he went abroad after the 2011 World Cup. But Haskell, who is set to start against Ireland, said: "I feel very eager to stay in this environment for as long as I can." MORE

Lampard fears for his England career

Roy Hodgson said Frank Lampard fears for his international career beyond the summer as Chelsea continue to hold out over the prospect of a new contract. Hodgson said: "The one thing I know is that he is anxious to keep competing for a place in the England team." MORE

Gambling becomes growing concern

English cricketers are being urged to seek help to overcome gambling addictions. The revelation that the former Test batsman Craig Spearman was a compulsive gambler was coupled with a players' union pledge to help others. MORE

Australia scandal could hit England

Andy Parkinson, the head of British anti-doping, warned that the drug scandal rocking Australian sport could hit the UK. He said: "The sporting environment in the UK and Australia are largely the same." MORE

Carragher ends 26 years at Anfield

Jamie Carragher's sense that Liverpool saw his future as a coach rather than a player has led him to end a 26-year association with the club and announce plans to retire. The 35-year-old wants at least a year outside the game and has a TV opportunity in the offing. MORE

Interview: Rio Ferdinand

The Manchester United defender tells Simon Hart he is relishing facing his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League next week – and wants revenge over Real Madrid. MORE

AVB worried about Bale's future

The Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, admitted yesterday that keeping Gareth Bale was "intimately related" to whether the club qualify for the Champions League. Villas-Boas may even allow Bale to play up front in tomorrow's game against Newcastle United. MORE

Cavendish close to overall Qatar win

Mark Cavendish came through the trickiest stage of the Tour of Qatar yesterday for another victory – his third in three days and fourth of the year – with an overall win all but certain today. Cavendish made a triumphant late charge at the end of the 95-mile fifth stage. MORE