London: Premier League clubs have paved the way for the introduction of spending controls and a salary cap after their chairmen agreed in principle to their introduction.
Despite some opposition, the Premier League is keen to ensure that financial safeguards are in place before the start of the lucrative new broadcast deals next August.
Under the plans discussed on Tuesday, the 20 clubs would have to break even although the exact details of the controls have yet to be agreed.
The main issue to be resolved is believed to centre around how much funding wealthy owners can put into clubs to cover losses. In recent years Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour have transformed the fortunes of Chelsea and Manchester City respectively by spending millions on players and their wages.
Premier League officials have been asked to bring back detailed plans on the spending controls for the next meeting on February 6 as well as on proposals to cap wage rises for players in the short term.
It is understood that City, the Barclays Premier League champions, along with Fulham and Aston Villa remain opposed to controls but approval is required by only 14 of the 20 clubs.
Richard Scudamore, EPL chief executive, has supported the 20 top-flight clubs introducing their own Financial Fair Play rules in a bid to avoid financial meldowns such as those suffered by Portsmouth, Leeds United and Rangers.
Wages account for somewhere in the region of 70 per cent of the clubs’ revenues, leaving very little profit for many of them. City last week reported a net loss of about £100 million in 2011-12 despite being crowned English champions.