EPL Clubs In New Wage-Restraint Talks
New regulations that would "change the face of English football are being debated" by the 20 Premier League clubs, a majority of whom are "understood to favour far greater financial controls, especially on wages," according to Steve Tongue of the London INDEPENDENT. The measures would "bring a degree of sanity to a world in which barely one-third of the country's top clubs manage to make a profit despite receiving huge sums from broadcasting and commercial activities." There is "little support for the salary cap" proposed by Wigan Owner Dave Whelan, which is "regarded as impractical if not illegal." However, other measures discussed included "an annual limit on wage rises and a ceiling on the percentage of income spent on salaries." West Ham Chair David Gold supports the latter plan. Gold: "Wage capping is almost communism, that's abhorrent. Most Premier League clubs support UEFA's Financial Fair Play, but I think what clubs want is something that works alongside that to stop the ever upward spiralling wages" (INDEPENDENT, 10/14).
ARSENAL'S SELF-SUFFICIENCY: In London, Tongue also wrote that ever since moving from a stadium holding 38,000 to one with a 60,000 capacity and three times as many executive boxes, Arsenal FC has "been able to run the club on a self-financing basis." Arsenal's revenue is close to £3.5M ($5.6M) every matchday for up to 30 home games a season. A lower wage limit than its direct competitors and a recent lack of trophies has meant selling players, but "that has usually resulted in solid profits," including £36.6M ($58.8M) in the last accounts (INDEPENDENT, 10/14).