Premier League bosses fear for financial fair play model

Some club chairmen are nervous that the measures agreed in February may not be ratified at the full board meeting in April, with concerns that Chelsea may switch their vote
By Greg Stobart

Plans for a domestic financial fair play model in the Premier League could be under threat as club chairmen fear a possible U-turn on the agreement reached in January.

Club bosses agreed at the shareholders' meeting in central London in February to limit losses to £105 million over a three-year period, with 14 clubs out of 20 voting in favour of the stricter financial regulations.

The measures are expected to come into effect from the start of next season but understands that there is rising uncertainty among some Premier League chiefs over whether the rule will be ratified at the next full board meeting in April.


The Premier League will ask owners who wish to bankroll losses to show proof that they can pay, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the situation at financially crippled Portsmouth
Changes to league rules require a two-thirds majority - or at least 14 votes - to be passed and there are concerns that Chelsea, who voted in favour in February, may switch their vote as the Londoners fight for a top-four finish.

Failure to qualify for next season's Champions League would dent the Blues' finances and the rule changes could have a significant impact on their spending power in the summer, with £40 million-rated Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao their top target.

The nature of the vote in February leaves the introduction of spending controls contingent on clubs not changing their choice.

Reading's vote at the full board meeting is also uncertain after they abstained in January.

A breakaway group of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham failed to push through a strict 'break-even' rule at the last meeting but club bosses agreed to a compromise system that limits a club's losses.

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Teams also approved a cap on wage increases as the Premier League imposed the first spending controls by a first major European league.

It was agreed in principle that there will be a ceiling on how much of the funds distributed by the Premier League are spent on players' wages each season from 2013-14 to 2015-16. In the first of a three-year cycle, wage bills can rise by £4m, in the second year by £8m and by £12m in the third.

The cost control measures apply only to clubs with wage bills in excess of £52m in 2013-14, £56m in 2014-15 and £60m in 2015-16.

Clubs who breach the loss limits and wage increase controls face points deductions.

Moreover, the league will ask owners who wish to bankroll losses to show proof that they can pay, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the situation at financially crippled Portsmouth.

The Premier League's FFP system mirrors that of Uefa's, which comes into force next season and limits owners to covering losses £38.9m losses over the first three years.

The 'gang of four' had pushed hard for a strict interpretation of the Uefa model but instead had to settle for a compromised system.

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