Cash curb bid for top-flight English clubs

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The English Premier League took a significant step towards spending controls yesterday by agreeing in principle to make breaking even a necessity.

The move was agreed by the majority of the 20 chairmen at a meeting in London despite opposition from a minority of clubs. However the exact details have yet to be agreed – specifically how much wealthy owners can put into clubs to cover losses, sources disclosed.

The chairmen asked Premier League executives to bring back detailed plans for the next meeting on 6 February.

It is understood Manchester City, Fulham and Aston Villa remained opposed but only 14 of the 20 clubs are needed for the moves to go through.

Manchester United and Arsenal want a pure break-even system similar to Uefa’s financial fair play scheme for clubs in European competition.

A group of other clubs, including Wigan and Chelsea, are also in favour of a break-even system but argue that wealthy benefactors should still be permitted to put extra investment into clubs.