Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | English Championship

Greg Clarke © Action Images

English second tier acts to keep clubs alive

Clubs in the second tier of English soccer have adopted rules designed to curb spiralling losses that threaten the survival of many teams outside the elite Premier League.

The rules, announced on Tuesday, will apply in the 24-team Championship (second division) and have been modelled on the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations introduced by European soccer's ruling body Uefa to clean up finances for top clubs.

Clubs that run up big losses to help win promotion to the Premier League will be fined in the most eye-catching measure.

"The issue we are addressing is how to keep our football clubs alive," said Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football League.

The 72 clubs below the Premier League had debts of nearly one billion pounds and three or four faced extinction in coming seasons if nothing was done, Clarke said.

Portsmouth, relegated last week to the third tier of English soccer, have an uncertain future after going into administration two months ago. Portsmouth won the FA Cup in 2008 and were in the Premier League until 2010.

Clarke refused to comment on the Portsmouth situation but said that few people wanted to buy clubs when debts were so high and revenues squeezed by an economic recession in Britain.

"The biggest problem at the moment is digging up people who want to own football clubs," he said.

Under the plans, Championship clubs will have to cut their losses to a maximum of £2 million by 2015-16, with additional shareholder investment capped at £3 million.

A Championship club that breaks the rules and wins promotion faces a financial penalty on the excess loss. This "Fair Play Tax" will be applied on a sliding scale, rising to 100 percent on anything over £10 million.

Clarke said he was in talks with the Premier League to ensure the sanctions were applied from the 2014/15 season.

The success of the Premier League over the last two decades has created a gulf between the richest clubs and the rest of English soccer.

Football League clubs will suffer a 26 percent reduction in income from television rights when a new deal kicks in from next season.

All but three of the Championship clubs backed the measures.

"The vast majority of clubs are lined up to change their behaviour," said Derby County chief executive Tom Glick.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk

Dr Errol Sweeney
14-year-old ref racially abused
We are constantly told that football is the most popular sport in the world and, to a large extent,...

Sunday Oliseh
Coaching Eagles: What they won’t tell you
Two days after starting as chief coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria a representative of a major...

Segun Odegbami
Nigeria needs something valid to celebrate
The Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium erupted in an orgy of celebration after Nigeria beat Swaziland 2-0.

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Mourinho and Rooney at crossroads
It was after a goalless draw at Old Trafford in the second match of the ill-judged season of David...