Stoke City: Potters join Premier rivals opt for cash curbs
STOKE City and their Premier League rivals are to have their spending strictly monitored and restricted to prevent financial meltdown among the nation's elite football clubs.
The new measures have been agreed by a majority of top-flight clubs and are designed to curb the kind of excessive expenditure seen at the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in recent years.
Any clubs found guilty of breaking the new regulations would face a points deduction.
In future, clubs will have to abide by regulations that prevent them spending well above their revenue.
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That should tie the hands of so-called 'sugar daddy' owners underpinning vast expenditure on transfer fees and wages.
From next season, Premier League clubs will not be allowed to make a total loss of £105m over the three-season period 2013/14 to 2015/16.
Over the last three years, only Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are known to have posted losses that great.
Clubs will also be restricted from next season on the amount of increased Premier League Central Funds (essentially TV money) that can be used to increase current player wage costs.
That limit will be placed at £4m in 2013/14, £8m in 2014/15 and £12m in 2015/16.
This control measure – which could eventually apply to Stoke City – will affect those clubs having a player wage bill of more than £52m in 2012/13, £56m in 2014/15 and £60m in 2015/16.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "The clubs understand that if people break the £105m we will look for the top-end ultimate sanction range – a points deduction.
"Normally we stay silent on sanctions as the commission has a free range, but clearly if there is a material breach of that rule we will be asking the commission to consider top-end sanctions."
He continued: "The balance we have tried to strike is that a new owner can still invest a decent amount of money to improve their club, but they are not going to be throwing hundreds and hundreds of millions in a very short period of time.
"While it has worked for a couple of clubs in the last 10 years, and I am not critical of that, if that's going to be done in the future it's going to have to be over a slightly longer term without the huge losses being made.
"I think at £105m you can still build a very decent club."