Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Top English clubs pushing for more financial controls

AFP, LONDON

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson applauds as he leaves the field after a 2-1 victory in the English Premier League match against Liverpool in Manchester, England, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Four of England’s leading clubs have written to officials calling for European governing body UEFA’s financial fair play rules to be introduced into the Premier League. A letter from Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Liverpool to league chief executive Richard Scudamore calls for full spending controls — where clubs must break even — without wealthy owners being allowed to cover clubs’ losses.

However, Premier League champions Manchester City, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Mansour, and European kings Chelsea, financed by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, are understood to be opposing any such spending controls.

When all 20 clubs meet next month they could agree on a compromise which will cover a fixed amount of losses to be covered by owners.

The letter from the four clubs, reproduced in Monday’s Daily Mail, said: “Thank you for your continued work on the vital subject of Financial Regulation for the Premier League. However, we do not feel that the latest proposals go far enough to curb the inflationary spending which is putting so much pressure on clubs across the entire League. We continue to believe that to be successful and have the best chance of gaining at least the 14 votes necessary, any proposals for Financial Regulation must include meaningful measures to restrict the owner funding of operating losses.”

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