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Chairmen split over finance control with Arsenal & Man Utd for with Fulham against as West Ham and Swansea chiefs speak out

20:47 15 November 2012

Archant

Premier League chairmen are split over how to introduce cost controls to England’s top flight despite broad support for some measures.

Although a majority of the 20 clubs who attended a shareholders’ meeting today are supportive of bringing in financial controls, major differences of opinion remain over what form these should take.

The meeting at the Premier League’s headquarters ended with no decision taken, and league’s executives will now try to draw up some detailed proposals on a range of options ahead of a meeting in February.

Any decision is likely to come into force from the start of next season.

Some clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester United want clubs to be obliged to break even every year, while it is understood others argued at today’s meeting that owners should be allowed to put in their own money to subsidise spending. There was also disagreement over the level of owner investment that should be permitted.

Other clubs, including Fulham, believe there should be no restrictions at all while yet another group including Sunderland want the controls to only be short-term restrictions on player wage increases.

There have now been five meetings of top-flight chairmen where cost controls have been discussed without any concrete decisions being made.

West Ham co-owner David Gold said: “There have been no decisions made. The debate carries on. I am hoping that we can come to some conclusions for the best interest of the football clubs and the league as whole, hopefully before the start of next season.”

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said he was hopeful an agreement could be reached.

He said: “I think we will get a consensus on this. Over the next few months we should get something in place, most likely before the start of next season.

“The main issue is that in the present economic climate, we as a league, portray the right image and make sure that everyone involved in football is looking after the supporters and making sure everything is kept under control and is run in the right manner.”

Jenkins added: “We are looking at the financial fair play rules and introducing that throughout the Premier League for the good of everyone in the Premier League and for the good of the game.

“I see it generally as a good discussion about making sure the Premier League retains its position as the number one league in the world and that we keep portraying the right image.

“It’s great that we have got everyone on board all fighting for the same cause. It should work well for everyone connected in football.”

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