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Dec 20, 2012

Stoke chief wants Prem spending curbed

Peter Coates wants to see financial regulations introduced by the Premier League to curb the spiralling spending of mega-rich clubs such as Manchester City.

• Stoke to overhaul scouting system

The Stoke City chairman believes controls on the cost of wages and the possibility of a break-even rule on club's accounting would be a good move for the good of the game in England.

Premier League chairmen, including Coates met this week to discuss potential new rules being introduced, including a limit on the amount clubs can increase their wage bill each season.

Coates is a firm supporter and has allies within the Premier League boardrooms, but has revealed suggestions that all clubs have agreed to the move in principle is not the case and further discussions are planned in the New Year.

He feels football has been allowed to run unchecked for too long, which has resulted in clubs like Portsmouth and Leeds United suffering major financial problems, while all other top level sports have a system of financial checks in place.

"I just think if you look at all major sports in all major leagues they have some form of financial controls. Why should the Premier League be any different?" said Coates.

"It is still a work in progress. We think it would be good to have financial controls, but you have to get agreement."

For the Premier League to pass regulations limiting wage budgets requires the support of 14 of the Premier league's 20 clubs to be voted through.

A majority appear to be broadly in favour as reports claim only Manchester City and Fulham are opposed to any spending controls and new rules would limit the financial backing Manchester City receive from their owner Sheikh Mansour, who announced losses of £97.9 million for the last financial year.

Financial controls have jumped to the head of the Premier League agenda because of concerns that the new television deal which commences next season and the massive increase in revenue that will bring could further add to the problems of spiralling wages.

The Premier League's domestic television rights have been sold for £3.018 billion, up £1.254 billion from the previous deal and chairmen are worried the extra money could be swallowed up by another increase in player's salaries.

Estimates suggest that Stoke, who received £43 million after finishing 14th last season, would receive at least £60 million for the same performance next season and clubs have agreed to look at the details of how financial controls will work ahead of the next meeting on February 6.

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