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SBD Global/November 5, 2012/International Football

EPL Owners Try To Make Deal Limiting Player Salaries Ahead Of TV Deals Taking Effect

Premier League owners, including Roman Abramovich and the Glazer family, "are close to agreeing a crackdown on players' wages," according to Joe Bernstein of the London DAILY MAIL. Talks "have already taken place" amongst all 20 top-flight clubs about introducing their own version of financial fair play. A formal outline "could be agreed later this month" when Premier League chairmen meet in London on Nov. 15. There is a "growing desire among the Premier League's int'l owners to keep a big slice of what could be £5B (£8B)" from the new TV deals that begin next year, instead of seeing it all go to players and their agents. The talks are concerning "wage restraint," prohibiting clubs from increasing their wage bill by more than 5% annually. Clubs spent £1.5B on wages in '10-11, 69% of their income, and they had debts of £2.4B. Among the "more radical proposals is that member clubs should be made to break even," something that UEFA's Financial Fair Play rule does not require. There is a "will among even the richest owners" -- Chelsea's Abramovich and Manchester City's Sheik Mansour -- "to stop making huge losses." The "new breed of American owners" -- Liverpool's John Henry, Sunderland's Ellis Short, Arsenal's Stan Kroenke, ManU's the Glazers and Aston Villa's Randy Lerner -- "are desperate to see a return on their investment." Figures from '10-11 revealed that Premier League clubs "made cumulative losses of £361M." An insider said, "There is a consensus from nearly every club that something needs to happen before the new TV deal takes effect next season. It doesn’t make sense for clubs to carry on losing money when so much revenue is being generated. It’s looking likely some form of agreement will be found" (DAILY MAIL, 11/4).
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