Clubs in new wage-restraint talks
Premier League teams ready to curb player earnings but won't agree to salary cap
New regulations that would change the face of English football are being debated by the 20 Premier League clubs, a majority of whom are understood to favour far greater financial controls, especially on wages.
The measures would bring a degree of sanity to a world in which barely one-third of the country's top clubs manage to make a profit despite receiving huge sums from broadcasting and commercial activities. One effect that advocates of change hope for would be to prevent a mega-rich owner like those at Chelsea and Manchester City from buying success by paying inflated sums in wages and transfer fees.
There is little support for the salary cap proposed by Wigan's Dave Whelan, which is regarded as impractical if not illegal, but other measures discussed include an annual limit on wage rises and a ceiling on the percentage of income spent on salaries. The latter plan is supported by West Ham's David Gold, who says: "Wage capping is almost communism, that's abhorrent. Most Premier League clubs support Uefa's Financial Fair Play, but I think what clubs want is something that works alongside that to stop the ever upward spiralling wages."
In the Football League, clubs now face a transfer embargo if they spend more than 55 per cent (in League Two) or 65 per cent (League One) of their income on salaries. Championship clubs will be subject to a form of Financial Fair Play and face fines for not complying from 2014.
On the latest available figures, from the 2010-11 season, only seven Premier League clubs – Arsenal, Fulham, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham, West Bromwich Albion and (relegated) Wolves – made a profit. Another seven, including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, made such large losses they would have failed the Financial Fair Play rules being introduced by Uefa. That is despite each of the 20 clubs making a minimum of £39m a season from broadcasting alone.
A Premier League spokesman said yesterday: "Income is rising while debt is falling and it's from this position of strength that the 20 clubs are currently discussing what further financial regulation might look like. At least 14 clubs will have to agree before anything's implemented."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho dismisses United injury worries, saying 'they have an amazing squad'
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Arsene Wenger compares talk of Jurgen Klopp replacing him at Arsenal to a 'circus'
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'