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Nov 16, 2012

Premier League set for financial fair play

The Premier League has moved a step closer to introducing UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules after representatives from every club met in London on Thursday.

Although there was no decision handed down from the meeting, the Premier League gained a vote of confidence from a majority of clubs, with only Manchester City, Fulham, Everton and West Bromwich Albion opposing the break-even rule, which would prevent clubs from operating at a loss.

There were also proposals of other strategies to introduce FFP, including wage restraints and contract guarantees, but a break-even restriction has enough support to be passed through.

It is a major step forward, with a final decision expected to be enforced for the beginning of next season as the Premier League looks to improve competition.

With a number of English clubs currently in debt, the break-even rule would require flexibility in the short term to enable a gradual balance of finances, particularly following the major losses experienced by Liverpool and Manchester City last season.

West Ham co-owner David Gold believes an FFP strategy should be introduced immediately to improve the quality of the Premier League.

"There have been no decisions made," he told Press Association Sport. "The debate carries on. I am hoping that we can come to some conclusions for the best interest of the football clubs and the league as a whole, hopefully before the start of next season."

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins shares Gold's views and sees the rules as a key part of holding integrity in English football.

"I think we will get a consensus on this. Over the next few months we should get something in place, most likely before the start of next season," Jenkins said. "The main issue is that in the present economic climate, we as a league, portray the right image and make sure that everyone involved in football is looking after the supporters and making sure everything is kept under control and is run in the right manner.

"We are looking at the financial fair play rules and introducing that throughout the Premier League for the good of everyone in the Premier League and for the good of the game.

"I see it generally as a good discussion about making sure the Premier League retains its position as the number one league in the world and that we keep portraying the right image.

"It's great that we have got everyone on board all fighting for the same cause. It should work well for everyone connected in football."

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis supported the FFP proposal on Thursday, suggesting it would help with a more stable structure and would not affect the quality of players in the league.

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