The chairmen of Premier League clubs are to be presented with a range of possible financial controls to limit spending.
The league’s top executives have produced a discussion paper on financial controls for the chairmen to consider which could eventually lead to clubs being forced to break even every year – or face sanctions. This would mean a serious blow to clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea who have return significant losses in recent years. There is strong support at other clubs for such controls – Wigan chairman Dave Whelan said on Wednesday that measures to cut spending were needed urgently, while Manchester United originally sparked the move at the league’s meeting earlier in the summer.
No decision will be made on any measures when they are presented on Thursday – instead two groups of 10 clubs, each with clubs mixed up to reflect size and region, are to be formed to discuss the options in more detail. Whelan’s own club Wigan have also operated at a loss – the Latics returned a net loss for the year ending May 2011 of £7.2million – but even he is in favour of the controls. He told Sky Sports “some clubs are spending way more than they can afford and get into trouble – look at Portsmouth.”
Manchester United’s chief executive David Gill has been one of the driving forces behind European clubs accepting UEFA’s financial fair play rules for clubs in the Champions League and Europa League to only spend what they earn, and he wants the Premier League to follow suit. The Football League have also introduced a similar system into the Championship and Gill believes the top flight should bring in similar measures. Gill, also speaking to Sky Sports, said last week:
“A lot of clubs would be happy just to introduce the financial fair play regulations into the Premier League now, some wouldn’t, but that’s a debate that has to have happened. And it will happen. If you look at it we’ve got financial regulations in the league below us, the Championship, and the competition above us, the Champions League, so we need to do it.”