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NUFC And ‘Northern Group’ Meet To Discuss Spending Controls

10 years ago

The Premier League clubs recently met to discuss the possibility of bringing in spending controls and subsequent penalties for those who break any rules that are agreed.

This is independent of UEFA’s own Financial Fair Play(FFP) initiative which is looking to force clubs to spend only what the generate, living more or less within their means.

The Championship and Leagues one & two have already brought in measures to bring some financial reality to the way their clubs operate, though it predictably appears now that the Premeir League might be a tougher nut to crack.

From the initial Premier League meeting, it was agreed to split the league into two and have further discussions to take the idea of spending controls forward.

On Monday (24th Sept) the southern group will meet, with Newcastle and the other nine members of the northen group meeting Wednesday (26th Sept).

The vast majority of the twenty clubs are in favour of some kind of controls but getting them to agree on exactly what the criteria will be is a different matter, as well as what any penalties there would be for breaking the new rules.

So far amongst the ideas put forward have been taking on UEFA’s FFP system of clubs more or less breaking even, while also suggested is an idea which was attempted by the G14 elite European group of clubs some years ago where clubs could only spend a certain percentage of income on players cost.

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A proposal put forward by sunderland’s Ellis Short is to limit increases in spending on players wages to 10% a year. Can’t really get my head around this one, as if you have a club like say Newcastle or Everton who break into the Champions League, then to have any chance of competing you’d have to recruit extra players of a certain quality which would take the wage bill automatically up by more than 10%.

The front runner though would appear to be some kind of watered down initiative which would see clubs having to be able to guarantee they can meet their financial commitments for a number of years rather than just the one year at present.

So for example if players are on four or five year contracts, their clubs would have to prove they can meet the financial side for the whole length of the contract.

The clubs seen as most resistant to strict rules are unsurprisingly Chelsea, Manchester City and Fulham but they may agree to the guarantee of meeting the financial commitment of players’ contracts.

While UEFA are promising exclusion from European competition for the worst transgressors of FFP, the Premier League isn’t likely to adopt such tough measures. Options appear to include a transfer ban or a fine, or for the really naughty clubs, straight to bed with no tea.

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