Football League clubs agree to fair-play system

The Football League has announced an in-principle agreement to introduce a UEFA-style financial fair-play system for all 72 league clubs.UEFA is set to introduce a ‘break-even’ requirement from 2013/14 stipulating that clubs only spend as much as they earn in revenue.

A similar system was put forward at the Football League AGM in Cyprus on Thursday, where it was agreed to in principle by representatives from all clubs.

“This is a very important step forward for professional football as it will help our clubs exert greater control over their finances,” Football League chairman Greg Clarke said.

“Much more work needs to be done, but I am hugely encouraged and impressed by the energy and focus of our clubs on this issue.”

“They have been the catalyst for change and have shown a real desire to self-regulate in this area. I congratulate them on taking this bold step.”

Clubs in the Championship resolved to work towards the regulations being approved by the beginning of the 2012/13 season.

League One clubs also agreed to introduce a salary cap similar to that which already exists in League Two.

Clubs in the third division are allowed to spend a maximum of 60 percent of their turnover on wages, though this will be reduced to 55 percent prior to the start of the next campaign.

On Thursday, an annual report into football finances by accounting firm Deloitte highlighted the dire levels of debt in the Football League.

The report found that more than one-third of Championship clubs are paying more in wages than they are earning, and assessed the total level of debt in the combined leagues as more than 700 million pounds.