Stoke City: Stoke chairman Coates backs controls on spending
STOKE City chairman Peter Coates says he fully supports new rules on spending controls for Premier League clubs, including restrictions on salary increases.
Premier League clubs voted last week for new rules under which no team will be allowed to make a total loss of more than £105m over the next three seasons and must limit their player wage bills from next season.
Speaking on Radio Five Live, Coates said: "The object is to make us sustainable. We have the richest league in the world by some distance yet collectively we lose huge amounts of money, which isn't good.
"It is a criticism which is made of us and I think it is a fair criticism.
"We are trying to put our house in order essentially. We can still compete at the very highest level so I personally don't see any downside."
The new rules follow Premier League figures which show its clubs made cumulative losses of £361m for the 2010-11 season.
The rules mean clubs whose total wage bill is more than £52m will only be allowed to increase their salaries by an accumulative £4m per season for each of the next three seasons.
Stoke City's wage bill in 2010-11 was £47m.
Coates says keeping players' salaries in check is crucial to the health of the Premier League.
He said: "They are very high as we know. Take the last television settlement. Of the new money that came in, from the extra money generated, 80 per cent of it and I think more went out in the first year which really isn't very clever.
"It is a constant battle. You are in a competitive market, but you have your own yardsticks and know ultimately how far you are prepared to go.
"I think you should always stick with that. You know what your football club can afford and you know what wage bill you can afford and you should make sure you keep your nerve and keep within it.
"You take a view, but equally you have to bear in mind your whole squad. If you get some player getting more than someone else, then there are others quickly knocking on your door saying, 'Hey I want a bit of that, I want the same as they are getting.'
"You have to balance these things up all the time."
However, the Stoke chairman, right, admits he went against his instincts when he agreed to the £16m double deal which brought Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios from Tottenham to Stoke in August 2011.
He said: "Sometimes you do things for different reasons. Really I never liked that deal financially, but I did that to support the manager who was very keen on the deal."
The Premier League are warning of points sanctions for clubs who don't stick to the new rules.
Coates added: "I think the majority of clubs will want to stick by the rules. We have had a vote, have a majority and they will want to make it work.
"It is up to the Premier League and they are going to have a commission which will oversee this and take action where appropriate. The big clubs have to abide by the UEFA Fair Play rules anyway and ours are much more liberal at the top end than the UEFA rules."
Coates doesn't believe the rules will prevent newly-promoted clubs from establishing themselves in the Premier League as Stoke have been able to do with the financial backing of the chairman and his family.
He said: "The promoted clubs are protected, they have lots of headroom to increase their wage bill. They won't be stopped from trying to consolidate and make sure they stay there and grow and improve, which we are trying to do all the time.
"You can put £100m a year in, that's a huge amount of money."
Meanwhile, Coates believes better regulation abroad would help prevent match fixing across the globe.
European police forces are investigating 300 new cases of potential match fixing in games played between 2008 and 2011.
The Stoke chairman, whose family own online gambling giants Bet365, says the United Kingdom's strict regulations should be mirrored abroad.
He said: "We should be constantly vigilant, that's clear. But what it is an absolute case for is regulation. We have the best regulation in the world in the UK and the more people who copy it the better, we shall be because these things are taking place in unregulated markets.
"We have a Gambling Act in this country and if we see anything suspicious we have to report it. If we didn't report it, not only is it not in our interest, we could lose our licence so the business is gone. We have to abide by strict rules, quite rightly."