• Premier League

Chelsea set to back Financial Fair Play

ESPN staff
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Chelsea are expected to back the measures © PA Photos
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Chelsea are likely to back a proposed top-flight cap on salary increases and a compromise Financial Fair Play deal when the chairmen of all 20 Premier League clubs meet on Thursday.

The Blues had been viewed as opponents of the FFP plans - a homegrown version of those being introduced by UEFA - but it is now thought they will agree to a system obliging clubs to break even but allowing owners to cover some losses.

That means it is likely that both spending control systems will be agreed when the chairmen convene.

Although Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool are certain to argue that wealthy owners should not be allowed to underwrite any losses, they may have to settle for a compromise that would mean up to £105 million over three years is able to be covered.

Opponents of FFP have argued that the system would maintain the current situation, favouring clubs with large stadia and significant commercial incomes.

Manchester City, Fulham, West Brom and Aston Villa are expected to vote against, but Chelsea's backing should enable the needed 14 out of 20 vote margin to be achieved.

It seems likely a wage cap will only affect those clubs whose total bill is higher than £52 million - a measure that would mean promoted sides are not prevented from improving their squads. There are also unlikely to be restrictions on clubs spending money earned from sponsorship deals on wages.

The Premier League's expected FFP system would be less restrictive than UEFA's, which is being introduced from next season and obliges clubs to break even or face possible exclusion from European competition.

For the first three years of its existence, the UEFA system will allow owners to cover annual losses of up to £12 million through equity, but that will then be phased out.

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