LONDON (AP) — English Premier League clubs agreed Thursday to restrain spiraling player salaries and rapid spending through financial controls that would see rule breakers face heavy point deductions.
The move, which is designed to ensure that the expected $8 billion being generated by a new television rights deal isn't frittered away, comes days after UEFA warned that escalating player costs were jeopardizing the future of clubs in Europe.
Teams with wage bills exceeding 52 million pounds ($82 million) would only be able to increase them by 4 million pounds ($6 million) per season for the next three years if the rise is funded through TV revenue.
And clubs would only be able to record a loss of 105 million pounds ($165 million) from 2013-16 — a rule Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool would have breached recently if it was already in place.
The regulations are more lax than UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, which are forcing teams entering European competitions to eventually make teams break even on their football-related business.
"The clubs understand that if people break the 105 million pounds we will be looking for the top-end ultimate sanction range, a points deduction," Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said.
Scudamore said the regulations will prevent teams emulating Chelsea and Manchester City by embarking on turbo-charged spending sprees under new ownerships to quickly win silverware.
"You can still build a very decent club with substantial owner funding that over time can challenge anybody but ... it's just going to mean doing that is going to take a few years longer, which is not at all a bad thing," Scudamore said.
Scudamore believes that the spending by Chelsea and City has contributed to wages rising across the league.
Player costs at City hit 200 million pounds ($315 million) last season as the team won the English title for the first time in 44 years after investment of about $1 billion since being taken over by Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan three years earlier.