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Premier League clubs meet to discuss financial controls

Fri 7th Sep 2012 | Money & Finance

As many as 17 teams are in favour of introducing financial control measures into the English Premier League, according to West Ham United co-owner David Gold.

The Premier League’s 20 member clubs met in London on Thursday to discuss the implementation of rules akin to UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) controls.

Bloomberg reports that a briefing document outlining a range of potential proposals, including limits to wage bill raises or a break-even clause, was distributed at the meeting.

While the Premier League’s top clubs are now operating with FFP regulations in mind, the League itself has yet to instigate formal financial controls. Meanwhile, the Football League in April revealed details of a FFP scheme that will see clubs promoted to the Premier League who have failed to adhere to the rules being hit with a ‘fair play tax’.

At least 14 member clubs must agree to proposals before they can be approved by the Premier League and Gold told Bloomberg: “I think that there are 14 clubs that are ready for change. I think there are more. I think there are as many as 17 clubs.” Two groups of 10 clubs, made up of teams mixed to reflect size and region, will now discuss the options in more detail before another meeting is held at the end of the month.

Press Association Sport reported that Fulham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton are the clubs most opposed to restrictions. Gold added: “There’ll be a few who this won’t suit but you’ve got to see what’s in the best interest of the league as a whole. Some will vote against what we’re trying to achieve, but the vast majority supports some form of control that’s in the best interest of not just the football clubs but the family, which includes the fans.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claims spending controls in the Premier League will help establish the "real size" of clubs.

The rules would effectively prevent wealthy benefactors injecting huge amounts of cash into a club to buy success - as has happened with Chelsea and Manchester City.

Wenger, speaking at a coaches' forum at UEFA's headquarters in Switzerland, said: "You should just get the resources you generate, that will determine the real size of the club.

"I personally am a long-time defender of financial fair play because I believe in the strength of purely football."

Posted by: Kev Howland

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