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Ashley And Friends To Bring In Wage Limits

9 years ago

With the new mega TV deal kicking in from next  season, the owners of the Premier League clubs are looking to work together and at last stop the ever increasing money generated through broadcasting rights going straight out the other side to players and agents.

It is crazy that an industry that has been so successful in generating money should be in such high levels of overall debt.

While the likes of the FSF (Football Supporters Federation) estimated that the latest TV deals could have knocked over £30 off every match ticket, the intentions of most Premier League owners is unlikely to be thinking in that direction.

Talks have been ongoing between Premier League Chairmen in order to put a brake on the money continuing to all go to the players/agents and the Daily Mail is reporting that they could be close to agreeing a deal that clubs can agree on.

The next meeting of all of Premier League Chairmen is on November 15th in London and a formal outline could be agreed then, smaller regional meetings have been taking place since the start of the season.

The talk is of having some kind of ‘wage restraint’ mechanism and would need the support of at least fourteen of the twenty Premier League clubs.

Ideas believed to be under discussion would see rules prohibiting clubs from increasing their overall wage bill by more than 5% a year – in 2010/11 wages accounted for some 69% of Premier League income.

It is believed that American owners such as Ellis Short down the road and his compatriots such as Henry (Liverpool), Lerner (Villa), Kroenke (Arsenal) and of course ManU’s Glazers, are desperate to find a way to stem the overall losses and make some money.  The way English football is ran must be very alien to them, when in America the design of the competitions is largely to produce a profit for the owners.

The average wage for a Premier League player in 1992 was £1,755which by 2010 had risen to £35,000! Since then of course the average will have gone up again as the likes of Van Persie, Toure, Tevez and Rooney are now on reported £200,000 a week minimum.

The proposals would include provisions for such things as promoted teams who would be given special dispensation with regard to the 5% maximum increase in wages, given the huge disparity in player wages with the Championship.

Most club owners are reluctant to comment but West Ham’s David Gold has had plenty to say and it’s not a great surprise considering the finances of his club.

“We need to regulate spending, reduce debt and ensure profit…and quickly!

We have to stop clubs running up debt or we’ll have an even more desperate situation.

The lower leagues have implemented new regulations and the Premier League must do the same.

I would propose a robust and clear debt cap, enforced by a transfer ban on incoming players or a points deduction.

Of the bottom 12 clubs, most will lose money and three will be relegated. With proper governance those 12 clubs, including the 3 to be relegated, could make £100m. It’s infinitely more desirable to get relegated having made £10m than having lost £10m”.

It definitely feels as though there is a real impetus within the owners to stop the money going direct from the likes of SKY straight into the players’ pockets and agreement looks likely from at least the minimum 14 needed.

How the likes of Mike Ashley and others would then deal with anybody breaking ranks might be a whole different story.


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