Football League clubs today voted to adopt UEFA's financial fair play system where teams can only spend what they earn.
Increasing levels of debt and a drop in television income has seen the 72 clubs agree to the system "in principle" at the league's annual meeting in Cyprus.
"This is a very important step forward for professional football as it will help our clubs exert greater control over their finances," said Football League chairman Greg Clarke.
"Much more work needs to be done, but I am hugely encouraged and impressed by the energy and focus of our clubs on this issue.
"They have been the catalyst for change and have shown a real desire to self-regulate in this area. I congratulate them on taking this bold step."
The Championship clubs aim to have the UEFA model taking effect next year in time for the start of the 2012/13 season.
The clubs in all three divisions voted in favour of developing the "rigorous new measures" following a presentation by Andrea Traverso, UEFA's head of club licensing and financial fair play.
League One clubs also agreed to introduce a 'salary cap' from the start of the coming season where teams will only be allowed to spend a fixed proportion of their total turnover on player wages.
The system, called the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP), currently operates in League Two at a 60% threshold, and this will be reduced to 55% next season.
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