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Spending caps will show who is really big.


ARSENE Wenger claims spending controls in the Premier League will help establish the "real size" of clubs, writes MARTYN ZIEGLER.

The 20 Premier League club chairmen were presented with a range of possible financial controls to limit spending at a meeting yesterday and will consider all the options later this year.

Arsenal boss Wenger says measures such as Uefa's financial fair play rules - where clubs can only spend what they earn - should be introduced .

The rules would effectively prevent wealthy benefactors injecting huge amounts of cash into a club to buy success - as has happened with Chelsea and Manchester City.

Wenger, speaking at a coaches' forum at UEFA's headquarters in Switzerland, said: "You should just get the resources you generate, that will determine the real size of the club.

"I personally am a long-time defender of financial fair play because I believe in the strength of purely football."

No decision was taken at the Premier League meeting, but West Ham coowner David Gold claimed the large majority of club bosses are in favour of financial controls of some sort. A discussion paper presented by the league's executives produced a range of possible controls, such as limiting the percentage of income that can be spent on wages or adopting a model where clubs must break even.

Sunderland's American chairman Ellis Short suggested a rule where clubs could only increase wages by a maximum of 10% over the three years from 2012/13.

Gold said that most chairman wanted some form of controls. It is understood Fulham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton are most opposed to restrictions.

Gold told Bloomberg: "I think that there are 14 clubs that are ready for change. I think there are more. There could be as many as 17 clubs.

"There'll be a few who this won't suit but you've got to say what's in the best interest of the league as a whole."

At least 14 clubs will have to vote in favour of spending controls for the league to introduce the new rules.

Two groups of 10 clubs, each with clubs mixed up to reflect size and region, will now be formed to discuss the options in more detail.

Manchester United have been the main force behind the call for the measures.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2012
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