Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules for the Championship put on hold

 

At a time when some of Europe's highest-spending clubs are waiting to see if any of their competitors might mount a legal challenge to Uefa's Financial Fair Play regime, the Football League appears likely to water down plans to introduce a stringent regime to the Championship from next season.

The League announced in June 2011 that FFP rules restricting clubs' spending to 60 per cent of turnover would be introduced from next season. Its schedule set February's quarterly meeting of all 72 clubs as the deadline for proposals to be ratified. But the financialfairplay.co.uk website has established that the deadline passed without resolution and, with all 24 clubs in the division not due to sit down again until the League's AGM in June, it seems next season is now too close to enforce a system under which clubs will be penalised for failing to restrict their spending.

A season without any punishment for failure – effectively testing the system but delaying implementation for a year – is one of a number of options. West Ham indicated last year they were willing to fight FFP by judicial review.

Portsmouth's administrator, Trevor Birch, warned at Manchester's Soccerex convention last week that the Championship had become "a scene of carnage" and "a catastrophe" in financial terms, as clubs pursue the dream of top-flight football, and cited FFP rules as the solution.

But the proposals are beset with a number of problems, not least how a transfer ban, which is one of the proposed penalties, could realistically be imposed, since clubs in breach of FFP might be in the Premier League before the trigger for such a ban – the previous season's accounts – were published.

For instance, Southampton have recently revealed their financial results for last season when, in the course of securing promotion from League One, their wage-to-turnover ratio was a mighty 93 per cent and they incurred losses of £11.5m. But increased TV rights and commercial income and the sale of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Arsenal will now see them come close to breaking even. They are also heading for the Premier League where, seemingly, no punishment could be applied.

Agreeing a legal framework for FFP only four months before the next season starts seems implausible. Clubs in the Premier League were given two years' notice. Uefa now accepts that those clubs travelling towards breaking even will be looked upon favourably.

Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, say they would not have acquired the club without the FFP framework in place, but some of Europe's largest clubs do not believe they will break even in time. Uefa's rules come into play in 2013-14 and will analyse clubs' accounts for the previous three years, starting with the 2011-12 financial year. Clubs competing in European competition will be permitted to lose €45m (£37.2m) over these three years.

Administrators running Port Vale, the latest Football League club to go into administration, yesterday named business Keith Rider as their preferred bidder. West Ham did not respond to The Independent's inquiries yesterday.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor