Premier League set to rein in clubs' spending

KEITH WEIR
Last updated 10:04 07/02/2013

Relevant offers

Football

Van Gaal relying on 'privileged' Wayne Rooney Mesut Ozil cast as Arsenal 'scapegoat for what?' Michel Platini angry as Fifa owns up on watches Phoenix play out another draw in pre-season London's Wembley to host climax of Euro 2020 EPL fireworks ahead as Man City and Chelsea clash Phoenix announce 2014-15 home game fixtures Fifa orders officials return luxury 'gift' watches German clubs claim bragging rights in Europe Solskjaer departs Cardiff after owner conflict

England's Premier League clubs are expected to agree rules tomorrow to ensure that a £5 billion television cash windfall is not frittered away in higher pay for players.

Featuring clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, the 20-team Premier League is the richest in the world for revenues. However, clubs spend around 70 percent of their income on lavish player wages, leaving little over for profit.

Alarmed by the state of clubs' finances across the continent, European football's governing body (UEFA) has introduced rules that will force leading teams to move towards breakeven or face exclusion from its competitions.

Top leagues in Germany and Spain have already adopted financial controls for their clubs and the pressure is now on the Premier League to act.

"It's very positive. We can only encourage the Premier League," UEFA General-Secretary Gianni Infantino said this week when asked about proposed curbs.

Most clubs agree that something needs to be done but the exact details of cost control have been the subject of hard bargaining over the last few months. The agreement of 14 of the 20 clubs is needed for proposals to advance.

Arsenal and Manchester United are among top clubs who have cast aside long-standing rivalries to push for full adoption of UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) breakeven rules.

Chelsea, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and winners of the Champions League last season, want club owners to have more freedom to spend to build a team.

Chelsea, who in any case say they are on course to meet UEFA's rules, are expected to back a compromise tomorrow which would place a ceiling on owner investment and cap annual increases in a club's spending on player wages.

Critics of FFP argue that it will reinforce the balance of power in the Premier League and prevent clubs from emulating the rapid ascent enjoyed by Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City in recent years. City's rise has been underwritten by cash from Abu Dhabi.

Premier League clubs stand to benefit from enhanced three-year TV contracts in August, having secured a 70 percent hike in the value of the domestic deal. Overseas rights with broadcasters including NBC in the United States are expected to push the total value of TV rights over £5 billion.

The need to make best use of that bounty is focusing minds among club executives and adding to the impetus to reach an agreement tomorrow.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who will win this year's Champions League?

Ajax

Anderlecht

APOEL

Arsenal

Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid

Barcelona

Basel

BATE Borisov

Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich

Benfica

Borussia Dortmund

Chelsea

CSKA Moscow

Galatasaray

Juventus

Liverpool

Ludogorets

Malmo

Manchester City

Maribor

Monaco

Olympiacos

Paris St-Germain

Porto

Real Madrid

Roma

Schalke 04

Shaktar Donetsk

Sporting CP

Zenit St Petersburg

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content