Premier League clubs agree squad spending cap 'in principle'

By John Mercury April 29, 2024

Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to a form of cap on squad spending ahead of regulations being formulated, Sky News understands.

Clubs still have to agree whether to introduce the rules that would anchor the maximum spending to a multiple of the league’s lowest-earner from TV revenue and prize money.

After a meeting in central London on Monday, Sky News was told three clubs voted against the plan – current champions Manchester City, Manchester United and Aston Villa. It is understood Chelsea abstained.

But the plans could now advance to the league’s annual general meeting in June that could lead to the spending cap being introduced.

One option floated is capping spending linked to transfers and salaries to five times that of the lowest-earning club.

Last season Southampton banked £103.6m in prize money and broadcast cash from the league. So the maximum a club could theoretically then spend would be £518m.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly during the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final first leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Saturday April 22, 2023.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. File pic: PA

Chelsea might have breached that last season if the rules were in place but it is unclear which precise aspects of club spending would be factored in.

A Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) spokesperson said: “We will obviously wait to see further details of these specific proposals, but we have always been clear that we would oppose any measure that would place a ‘hard’ cap on player wages.

“There is an established process in place to ensure that proposals like this, which would directly impact our members, have to be properly consulted on.”

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The form of salary cap is linked to new cost controls – eventually replacing profit and sustainability rules that led to points deductions for Everton and Nottingham Forest this season over the scale of their losses.

Clubs had previously backed aligning with new UEFA rules that will see clubs participating in European competitions only allowed to spend 70% of revenue on transfer fees, player wages and agent fees.

The limit would be set at 85% for clubs not playing in the Champions League or Europa competitions.


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