Championship clubs focus on finance

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Championship clubs are set to introduce their own financial fair play system where teams can only spend what they earn.

The Football League chairman Greg Clarke has revealed that the Championship clubs have voted in principle to mirror the UEFA system that will affect clubs in European competition from 2014.

Clarke said: "The Championship clubs voted to look at financial fair play and in principle decided that was the road they wanted to go down. I think it's essential, and the energy to solve this is coming from the clubs themselves."

The system will be proposed at the Football League's AGM in Cyprus on Thursday, where it will also be put forward that League One clubs move towards the introduction of the salary cap currently in force in League Two, where teams can spend a maximum of 60% of their turnover on wages.

Clarke added: "It's a perfect storm in that a lot of things have come together to make this happen, including of course the level of debt in the game - £700million in the Football League, most of that in the Championship - and big losses being racked up by the clubs."


He said if the proposal was passed the next six months would be spent on developing a system and ensuring it was fair and transparent.

And while Clarke admitted that there had been some opposition to the move but a strong majority had been in favour. It is understood that Leeds chairman Ken Bates is among those backing the system.

"These things are never unanimous and a couple of the clubs would rather not have constraints on how mach money they can spend," added Clarke. "I would hope this could lead to a return to the days when local communities could own the clubs rather than rely on offshore benefactors.

"There is also a proposal for League One clubs to shadow the League Two system in the coming season with a view to their adopting it the season afterwards."

The proposed spending constraints also reflect concern over income - the League's new £195million domestic TV deal is a 26% drop on the previous one and Clarke added: "Football finances are difficult and the UK television deal is less than the last one, and there are no signs that the economy is going to recover quickly."

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