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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea