Premier League clubs agree sweeping ‘New Deal for Football’ proposals

Premier League clubs agree to radical proposals for

Premier League clubs agree sweeping ‘New Deal for Football’ proposals – PA/Martin Rickett

The Premier League has won club approval to launch its sweeping football funding overhaul – despite reservations from the ‘Big Six’.

Ministers, the Football Association and the Football League will now be consulted on the funding vision for the ‘New Deal for Football’.

The biggest upset in decades was just one club vote away from being delayed again when the final package was presented to shareholders.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and the two Manchester clubs have questioned the method behind a sliding scale of their contribution.

However, the league was finally given the mandate it needed as the other 14 clubs agreed on a plan which should include revenue from Europe in the equation.

The proposal, which the league hopes will avoid the risk of ministers intervening, includes a merit-based system for increased solidarity payments.

However, tough talks with the FA loom on the horizon as the league will present a vision of a relaxation of post-Brexit points-based rules for signing foreign players.

The league has been reviewing its distribution models for at least two years, under pressure following the furors sparked by Project Big Picture and the European Super League.

A key part of the new redistribution system will be based on ensuring that certain checks given to clubs will be spent on infrastructure rather than salaries.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was given the green light to go ahead with presenting the package to other authorities as he met club shareholders at a London hotel.

Subject to approval by other governing bodies, the ‘New Deal’ will follow UEFA in introducing a cap on transfer spending and wages across the football pyramid.

The system will have a threshold slightly above the European limit of 70% of revenue.

It would be the first time such a cap has been introduced and could impact the aggregate loss limits faced by clubs over three years.

However, with League spending over 110 per cent in terms of revenue, the topic is just one of many potentially tense discussions to be had with the English Football League in the coming weeks. Senior EFL sources say they reserve the right to refuse the offer.

The top tier have also reportedly come to the conclusion that qualifiers for European competition may no longer have a place in the calendar to compete in the EFL Cup.

Stephen Taylor Heath, head of sports law at JMW Solicitors, said English football now faces a complex saga setting new rules.

He said: “The two main legal issues in my opinion are the timing of imposing rules and an inconsistency in the regulations of the different governing bodies.

“Timing is critical for any changes to financial regulations, as clubs have long-term financial commitments and may not have built into agreed contracts the ability to change them following a change in regulations.

“They are then faced with the potential dilemma of breaking the contract or contravening new regulations – it can also render certain contracts ‘illegal’ and unenforceable.”

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