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Clubs face sanctions over broken rules
Top-flight clubs will face a points deduction if they breach new spending controls, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has confirmed.
The 20 club chairmen agreed to two significant controls - to limit players' wage bills from next season, and longer-term measures that will restrict the amount of losses clubs can make to £105million over three years.
Clubs whose total wage bill is more than £52million will only be allowed to increase their wages by £4million per season for the next three years, though that cap does not cover extra money coming in from increases in commercial or matchday income. Scudamore told reporters: "As all things in our rulebook you will subject to a disciplinary commission."
He continued: "The clubs understand that if people break the £105m we will look for the top-end ultimate sanction range - a points deduction. Normally we stay silent on sanctions as the commission has a free range but clearly if there is a material breach of that rule we will be asking the commission to consider top-end sanctions."
It emerged , however, that the vote for the financial regulations could hardly have been closer - only 13 of the 20 clubs voted in favour, six against with Reading abstaining. It meant that the 'yes' vote only narrowly achieved the necessary two-thirds majority of the 19 votes cast.
Clubs sources say Fulham, West Brom, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Swansea and Southampton all voted against. Chelsea, who had initially been viewed as opponents of financial fair play regulations, voted in favour.
Of the 20 clubs in the top flight, only Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have reported losses of more than £105million over the last three years, according to the most up-to-date published accounts.
Scudamore said that the measures would mean it will take longer for benefactor owners to achieve success - but that it would still be possible.
He said: "The balance we have tried to strike is that a new owner can still invest a decent amount of money to improve their club but they are not going to be throwing hundreds and hundreds of millions in a very short period of time.
"While it has worked for a couple of clubs in the last 10 years, and I am not critical of that, if that's going to be done in the future it's going to have to be over a slightly longer term without the huge losses being made. I think at £105million you can still build a very decent club with substantial owner funding but you have to do it over time, you can't do it in a season."